January 30, 2010

Album Tip! Elemental - Messages From The Void

Huge album! I only just came across this whilst searching for a track in the Shed Fact Mag mix and the name of the track happened to be this guy. Whether intentional or not, the album title really does have some relevance for me. The messages are perhaps his sonic signals which seem to be coming from an unknown place which contains ghosts of various genres, including deep Dub Techno, Post-Garage and a bass-heavy framework all intertwined into some serious machine funk. This album is futuristic, atmospheric and rhythmically daring, whilst having a certain fun and playful charm which is what really grabbed me on first listen. But crazy genre names aside, this gives me that forward-thinking emotion of cutting edge Techno, and for that reason, in my book, it is Techno!

Elemental has been in the production game since 2002, with early releases on Paul Rose Aka Scuba's Hotflush label and has a bonus disc which comes with the CD release of this album, containing his best releases between 2002/2009.

Check out the album HERE and if it's tickling your ear drums, then I seriously recommend a cheeky purchase, because as always, the album really needs to be listened from start to finish in it's entirety, to truly absorb the sonic messages which I being delivered here from Mr Elemental!

Here's one more track which I'm really loving off the album. It's not for the faint hearted, but make sure you either have some good headphones or listen through some decent speakers to get the full spectrum of the standard of production here. Percussion which seems to skid from underneath itself and elements which seem to be only just hanging on for their life until they all unite for brief moments of intense impact. Crazy stuff!

Peace out x

January 26, 2010

Recommended Site - Hardwax

"Kids…never judge a book by its cover…but you can probably judge a city by its record store"

Hardwax record shop was, and still is, the quintessential model for all independent record shops in Berlin. It has been going now for 20 years. Almost an exact anniversary with the fall of the Berlin wall. For along time I have seen this online record store as somewhat of a connoisseur site. Never compromising on quality, and unlike a lot of the online stores at the moment, they do not bombard you with thousands of poor new releases everyday. The releases which range from Disco, dub, techno, house, all of which have that "hand picked" hardwax stamp of approval to them.

As for the actual store itself, I went there for the first time in December. Tucked away in Kreuzberg, its appearance definitely encompasses the vibe of Berlin. A dark entrance, full of graffiti and old flyers, leads to a small stairwell also completely covered in graffiti. Walking up the three flights of stairs, almost in the dark, the familiar bass sound lets you know that you're in the right place and keeps you climbing. There wasn't too many people in there when I arrived, which gave me a chance to take my time and really absorb the place. For once, I was in a record store where the staff didn't care if you stayed there all day listening to their music. In between listening to the music I could hear the staff telling people about cool parties they must go to that week, they were more than happy giving their recommendations to people and it definitely felt like I was a part of something when I was there. After a few hours there, I offered to put back the numerous records I had been listening to when I decided to leave, the guy behind the desk simply smiled and said he would sort everything and passed me a flyer for the their 20th Anniversary party (in which I actually already has tickets to) but I accepted and walked away smiling.

They are currently running a night called Wax Treatment. The next party has Peverelist headlining and is on the 31st January "...on the Killasan sound system @ horst krzbrg, Tempelhofer Ufer 1. Also here is a link to their monthly Wax Treatment Podcast run by the staff there.

"Devoid of any sales clerks taking the moral high (fidelity) ground, this vinyl vault is a must-visit for record lovers..."

January 22, 2010

News: Four Tet - 'There Is Love In You' Album Treat x

There Is Love In You  by  Four Tet

Well.. BamBam would love to share with you a stream of Mr Four Tet's latest Album 'There Is Love In You' because:

A.) It's one of the most beautifully hand-crafted electronic albums to surface in quite some time. And as a friend of mine recently said.. 

"The mastery of his percussive elements blows my mind.... to have that electronic template and those natural sounds fitting in is a feat..props"

Couldn't have been put better I think. 

B.) For the lucky ones going to check him out this week here in Barcelona, its the perfect soundtrack to get you in the mood before you hit the club.

C.) Last but most importantly, Mr Kieren Hebden aka Four Tet has uploaded the whole album to stream for your free listening pleasure! 

Touching on the last point, I think this is really starting to highlight the current transition in the independent music industry which is a huge huge article in itself, which I don't feel at this point to have enough knowledge or in a position to really take on fully. But all I can say is that for those that are really enjoying this album, make sure you show some love and get this on the legal download once released or even pop into the shop to buy (if people still even do that these days?). Or most importantly show some extra love and go and see him live; as we all know, nothing compares to the real thing! Anyway again a bit of a tangent here, so enough of the blabbering, ENJOY!

January 21, 2010

News - New Shed Mix!!!

Now, you can probably tell from the Artist Tip posted before Shed is one of my favourite artists, he continues to produce music of the highest quality and here we have an amazing new mix from him for your listening pleasure... taken from the guys at over Factmag... (to download it click on the arrow on the right)

"The mix reflects its makers ongoing interest in dubstep and post-garage forms, with tracks from the likes of Peverelist, Martyn, Joy Orbison, Zomby and Skream enjoying prominence, but that’s just one strand of a diverse and hugely rewarding selection: look out for hard and raw techno from Surgeon and Underground Resistance, deadly warehouse minimalism from Pan Sonic and Marcel Dettmann, and out-and-out rave anthems from Aphex Twin, Drexciya and Link"

January 20, 2010

Recommended Event - Red Bull Music Academy (London)

This year the Redbull Music Academy is in London! And trust me, when Redbull Music Academy comes to your city you know about it!! For those unfamiliar The Academy brings new artists from around the world together, from producers to vocalists, DJs and all kinds of musicians. Over 30 days these artists get to meet people in the scene, collaborate on music, share ideas and generally come away from the experience very inspired and a lot more knowledged about the music and their scene in general. Its been going for over ten years now visiting a different city each year. Aswell as this though, while Red Bull Music Academy is around they put on events available to the rest of us that are not part of the academy, infact this year they have promised 30 mind blowing music events in just over 30 days!!! Starting 7th Feb.

The first party they are doing that got my instant attention is at the Royal Festival Hall on Feb 12

"The Red Bull Music Academy's fascination with the genre’s future tangents is a dance that has lasted over a decade now. To further this investigation, the Academy takes over the Royal Festival Hall on February 12, with four collaborative acts who’re currently at the forefront of exploring the grey areas of sci-fi electronics, discoball jazz, neo-classical, laptop soul, and 22ND CENTURY TECHNO"

The line-up consisting of Carl Craig, Francesco Tristano, Moritz von Oswald, Matmos, Bugge Wesseltoft, Henrik Schwarz, and Terre Thaemlitz as DJ Sprinkles.

No doubt about this one, its going to be an unbelievably special musical evening!!

...And if thats not enough for you, on the same night they are bringing one of the biggest dub-based lineups to the club Plan B. Including my favourites of the night Ramadanman and Appleblim that will be playing back to back. These two have been producing some of the most forward thinking bass music of the last couple of years "Expect Dubstep-to-Techno-to-Funky-to-Jungle and back again"

There are many more artists and events still to be confirmed for the other partys. Anybody within reach I cannot recommend enough! The Red Bull Academy Team again have proven how much they are supporting the most creative, advanced music of our time and full respect to everybody that is involved!

Check RedBullMusicAcademyRadio for endless shows of live recordings and interviews from all artists involved.

January 19, 2010

News: Much Love To The Plastic People (Four Tet DJ Mix Dec 2009)

Much Love To The Plastic People (DJ mix December 2009)  by  Four Tet

Following on from the Four Tet Recommended Event, here's a mix by the man himself. It starts off with a bang courtesy of his latest killer outing 'Love Cry' and continues in quality throughout.

Also check out the link below for an interview with Four Tet on Pitchfork which talks about the huge influence that his current residency at 'Plastic People' in London has had on his more recent work and up and coming album, which is due out this month called 'There Is Love in You'

"The rhythms and the techno influence seeped into it naturally. I think it was a combination of what I was doing with Steve Reid and DJing"


January 18, 2010

Recommended Event - Four Tet @ Apolo Barcelona 23/01/10

The Four Tet project by producer Kieren Hebden has been a continuous exploration into the balance between organic and programmed sounds, ranging from the more experimental beat and structure patterns of his earlier albums, with the last released album 'Everything Ecstatic' in the same vein, to the more four-to-the-floor orientated outings of his more recent work. 

Below are two tracks I'm really loving, the first one being one of the most beautiful House tracks I have heard in a long time, which was made along side the famously mysterious Burial and the second track is one of his latest tracks released on the 'Domino' label called 'Love Cry'. This track really highlights Four Tet's recent transition into more dance-floor based sounds whilst still retaining the live sample, organic feel which his work is so famous for.  On the flip side there's a very cool remix by Joy Orbison which is worth some attention.

Anyway I'll be popping along to this night so a review will be following shortly, but for now enjoy these and if your not familiar with his work then have a good old dig......

January 16, 2010

News: Berghain Sub:Stance Interview with Scuba and Robotic @ Berlin Mitte Institut

Really interesting four part interview with Scuba and Berlin Dubstep maestro Robotic.

Check out the four parts on youtube for a sneaky insight into Scuba's Sub:Stance night at the Berghain Club in Berlin, the evolution of Dubstep, Scuba's thought's on the pigeonholing of the genre, the current cross pollination with Techno and future visions.

Just follow the links on the first part to see the other four video's.

January 14, 2010

Artist Tip: A Made Up Sound (2562)

Firstly I want to clarify that this is not your typical biographical article I'm writing about here, this is more specifically about one of Dave Huismans' alias pseudonym's called 'A Made Up Sound'. If you have been following Dubstep over the last few years you may be aware of a rising star in the scene called 2562, which is the most famous alias of the mastermind that is Huisman. With two widely aclaimed albums under his belt as 2562, both exploring the realms between Dubstep, Post-Garage, House, Grime, Funky and more, Huisman has created a special mood which is amoung a small list of current producers who can rightly claim to have carved themselves. However parallel to this, he has also been very busy creating and releasing a string of releases under his lesser known but arguably more intriguing guise 'A Made Up Sound'. 

Right, lets cut the bullshit fancy writing here, 'A Made Up Sound' is big. I've been following him since his first release on 'SubSolo' and every EP and track with his name on released after 'and before' this has been pretty much, a buy on site purchase. With AMUS he adds an extra depth to House and Techno that seems to have been lacking for me, for quite some time. The tracks are raw and funky, rhythmically adventurous but still stay true to the dance floor which is perfect for any forward thinking DJ's to weave in and out of. Even in a home listening environment his tracks have enough finesse and creative twists and turns to keep you interested from start to finish. But as with most of this kind of music, it really is on a big sound-system, where the music takes on a life of it's own....you really do need to hear the sub-base in these tracks LOUD! 

With AMUS it's a little bit like what I mentioned in the Scuba article. With 2562 you seem to get the Techno elements fused into Dubstep, but with AMUS you get the Dubstep Elements fused into House and Techno. Which ever way round you look at it, and however you see it, give Mr Huisman some love and go and buy some of his music!

Below is a selection of my favorite tracks by 'A Made Up Sound' to get you started.

This does exactly what it says on the tin....Bounce, and plenty of it.

Absolutely love the acid line in this and the groove just keeps on developing throughout. Pure sickness with a touch of cheek.

Leaning towards more of a technoid Dubstep tip, this has rising synths which remind me in a more subtle way of Joy Orbison and has one of those special moods which if dropped at the right point can create magical moments.

This one is purely about the big sound-system. An almost rave sounding track with a raw groove and sub-base which will sound like its ripping through your chest (in a good way) on the right sound-system.

On a much deeper tip, this is one for the early morning meditators. A slice of highly hypnotic Dub Techno fused Dubstep.

January 10, 2010

Sonar Update: A Taste Of Sonar

Not only are Sonar having two simultaneous festivals in the summer this year in different locations (see here) they are also putting on "A Taste Of Sonar" which is going to be held at the Roundhouse in Camden, London on the 5th and 6th March..

"It will be two nights to savour in pure Sonar style, containing a small-scale version of the intense festival experience" The first two confirmed artists are - the enigmatic North American MC and producer DOOM (in Europe for the first time), and Laurent Garnier.

Also this year, Red Bull Music Academy are getting back involved and will be programming the Studio Theatre Stage which will be "representing some of the most exciting emerging talent from around the globe"

Artist Tip - Shed aka Wax, EQD, STP, Deuce (with Dettman)

"Shed's numerous 12"s for his own Soloaction imprint, and a succession of tracks on Styrax Leaves, Delsin, Ostgut Ton, alongside a number of anonymous club tools for Hardwax, have become the purest source of Berlin engineered Detroit techno available" - Boomkat

The track above, The Lower Upside down, is one of my favorites off Shed's amazing album Shedding the Past from 2008 and is perfect example of the ambience and beauty that Shed can create in his music. Heres a link to here the whole album.. Shed - Shedding The Past

Being one of the staff at Berlin's famous record store hardwax, Shed has always had a close relationship with electronic music and has been releasing music since 2004. Its in the last two years though, where I think he has really raised the standard.

I had the pleasure of seeing him play at the Hardwax 20th Anniversary party in Berlin and judging from that, it seems he has a lot more amazing music coming for us also.. Not only that but two big tracks of the night for me were both sides of his Wax 20002 release.. which was a big reminder that this guy knows exactly what he is doing and also how much his music comes to life on a big system! Heres one of the tracks..

January 08, 2010

Recommended Event - Cassy @ Raum 22/01/2010

After giving us an awesome set during Cocoon's Adrian Dance Week last year at Off Sonar, Barcelona has been waiting for Cassy to return. Cassy is one of the most loved residents of Berlin's Panarama Bar. She also has releases on labels such as Perlon, Cocoon, Ostgut Ton, Desolat..  I could go on but basically those looking for a really good dance to some cool house music (and a trip into a little bit of madness) get ya ass there!!

January 07, 2010

Article: Fabric London - Love em or Hate em?

'Elevator Music' Special:

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last 10 years then you may have heard of the infamous Fabric club in London. I didnt check out the place until around 2005 and the main thing I recall of my first hazy Saturday night visit was that I never even realised that room one existed! Well upon further visits to the club I finally found it and had the pleasure of hearing, for me, the best soundsystem (in a club) I have ever heard. Yes, I have heard of the Labryinth Festival in Japan and it's ridiculous sound-system and various other legendary sound-systems around the world, but in terms of a club sound-system there isnt really much more that can be done to improve the sound at Fabric. It's nearly always just the right level (depending on the talent and experience of the DJ) and has crystal clear sound and depth which, especially in room one, is perfectly tailored for showcasing the many sonic levels and textures that good quality House & Techno has to offer. Rumour has it, that if you are clued up enough and keep a look out, you may actually catch the sound engineer 'Sanj' pottering around the dancefloor tweaking the levels to sustain that constant sweetspot of sound, which can't be a bad thing for any DJ can it?

However there is a darker, colder sider to Fabric which has been highlighted over the years, especially in the latter ones, and this is an image which has been mainly reinforced by the influx of tourists and hipsters from all over the world, who have no interest or clue about who or what is playing, but are there just because it's the cool place to be. Fabric by no means have done themselves any favours here by letting in far too many people on far too many occasions when headliners have played which has helped kill any sort of atmosphere that may have been created over the course of the night. Also due to the mixture of crowd types, i.e hipsters and tourists combined with music enthusiasts, it has often led to the atmosphere and club dynamics feeling somewhat sterile and void of any emotion or 'vibe'.

One thing though that has to be said here about the club is that love em or hate em, however big their brand and image has become, unlike many huge clubbing institutions before them, in no way shape or form over the years has Fabric ever took their fingers off the pulse. They have always stayed true to themselves, never selling out to expectations, and are continuously pushing forward new talent accross a wide spectrum of the electronic music canvas, showcased through from the more urban UK Bass and HipHop spectrum of their Friday night to the more straight up House and Techno on their Saturday night. All I can say is, that regardless of the atmosphere on a general basis in Fabric, on the times they have got it right, I have had some of the most magical musical and clubbing experiences of my life there, and to hear people like Ricardo Villalobos on form working the levels to absolute perfection and playing some of the most mind bending shit your ever likely to hear or even just to hear some of your favourite music on THAT sound-system will always be somewhat special, even to the most cynical of clubbers.

On this note, I can now go on to explain about their new project called 'Elevator Music' which will be showcased on their launch party, spread across all three rooms on Friday 8 Jan 2010. Below is a little snippit version of the summery by Fabric themselves about the concept of the project and what your likely to be hearing.

"Fabric are set to venture into fresh territory with a new unmixed compilation series. Entitled Elevator Music, the purpose of each of the releases is to showcase unreleased tracks from some of the producers that have been exciting the Fabric staff, with a definite focus on dance floor."
"Although Graham Best (Fabric's A&R synchronisation manager) has said that future editions won't focus on any particular genre, Volume 1 has a grounding in UK bass music and related international producers, collecting new tracks from the likes of Martyn, Starkey, Shortstuff, Untold and Hot City, as well as an appearance from previous Fabriclive contributors Caspa & Rusko. Ranging from bumping sub-heavy house through to various styles of dubstep, the compilation is sure to appeal to listeners who have been keeping their eyes on recent developments in the UK scene. Although only a CD release is on the cards for the meantime, Best has hinted that there will be a set of vinyl singles that will follow on from the compilation's release in January."
Not mentioned in the above press release are various other acts playing on the opening night such as the now hotly tipped Joy Orbison, in full swing after his massive 2009 crossover track 'Hyph Mngo', which if, again you were that person living in a cave in 2009, you may have missed all the hype around this track, with it being charted as the number one biggest track of 2009 on many music websites and blogs. Also other excting artists such as 2562, the future smooth Drum & Bass influenced Dubstep of Dbridge / Instra:mental and the techy precision of Headhunter. Basically everyone who have been exciting Fabric and me for that matter during the course of 2009.
I think what is great here is that Fabric have created an umbrella with this night and project of all the artists which have splintered off and mutated from the varous branches of UK Bass and are quite hard to pin down. It's almost a 'take from it what you want' kind of attitude which reminds me of the early days of House & Techno before the genre definitions came to rule and regulate. I don't know exactly why, but over the last few years I have found myself listening to more and more of the crossover stuff from UK Bass, hearing more and more interesting sounds and sonic explorations with each listen and it has made a refreshing change in contrast to what has been the main theme of the more straight up sounds in House/Techno over the last few years, which is the whole mid 90's retro 'old is new' trend, but that is a whole new topic in itself that I may write about at some point. But slightly back on topic, as many a House head or Techno nerd may say, "House is a feeling" and "Techno is a state of mind"; so if this is the case, then as long as these crossover idea's are creating the emotion your after, then isnt this the 'feeling' or 'state of mind' your claiming to be chasing?
Anyway check out the little video below which showcases the tracks due be released on Fabric's exclusive 'Elevator Music' compilation coming very soon. Mine is in the post and is due to arrive shortly, so I can't wait to get my hands on it! I'm especially after a few tracks in there, one of them being the HUGE roller called 'Skinnz - Ukraine' which i'm looking forward to weaving in and out of some other rhythms in my record box shortly!
Also here's a little quote by Mr Skinnz himself on his current style, which is exactly the kind of attitude I'm loving.
“I see what I do as taking elements of classic loop techno and fusing them onto a deeper rolling bass-heavy framework,” reasons Skinnz, “I’m inspired as much by older Marco Carola as I am by Mala!”


January 06, 2010

Recommended Site - Boomkat and it's Random Oddities

I can't praise this site enough and for those you haven't used it yet, seriously give it a whirl. For fellow music diggers, especially DJ's, its a little heaven for the people like me who can get stuck in a rut on the more mainstream House & Techno online stores like decks.de. The problem with decks.de is the fact that all of their 'new releases' etc are an exact representation of the 'in sound' of the moment. You never get the sense that your going to find some random little gem which may not quite sit within the tight genre frames in which it's placed. If like me you like things to get a bit wonky and rough round the edges, then Boomkat is the perfect place. It's a very musically eclectic website with recommendations ranging from modern classical soundtracks to Reggae, Downbeat, Soul, House and Techno, but it still manages to have it's own personal vibe. You can hear an album recommendation and you instantly feel it sits with the Boomkat style. Even if your just a music enthusiast then this site will hit all right spots if you have an open mind and lust for things undiscovered or new.

Another great addition which they have added to the site, which I have been following since it's introduction is it's sub site called 14 tracks. It's basically a selection of 14 hand picked tracks with a different theme each time. The theme could be about showing all the different shades of a certain producer or just giving a snapshot of a new genre like that god awfully named 'UK Funky' for example. You can either download the tracks individually or get all the tracks for half price if you buy the selection. It's a great way though of discovering new sounds, artists and scene's. Follow the link below...

http://www.14tracks.com/ Get subscribing!

Recommended Event - Elevator Music Launch Party @ Fabric London 08/01/2010

Massive night with a massive lineup. If your in London around this time and are vaguely into electronic music, then be very sure not to miss this night. It has a huge lineup accross all three rooms which will be showcasing some of the most cutting edge talent in rhythm science over the last year. Get a huge pot, throw in some garage, dubstep, grime, house, dub, techno, and god knows what else, shake it all up, add some BASS, and see what happens...Get involved!