Wednesday, September 29, 2010

one year!

hey hey! looks like today is smilecoldanatomy's first birthday. oh, how the times have changed! well, not really... i do have a fancy new phone now, but that's about it. it's also been about 6 months since the birth of this blog's anatomy mix project. there's only been three mixes so far but i think each one is special in its own way, and there's definitely still more to come. stream and download the mixes at

i've been late with my sonar chicago review and i'm really not sure if i'll get around to finishing it. i've had a lot to write about lately; i just finished a review of anders ilar's new album stories of old for bleep43. read it here! my quick final thoughts on the album: while i wasn't terribly impressed with it, i grew to admire ilar's warm sound design, especially on some of the more gorgeous tracks.

anyway, just a few notes this wednesday morning:
early warning, friday 10.22: migrashun will have lucy, the head of stroboscopic artefacts, return to chicago to play in the lair, the basement room of the vision megaclub. i'm very excited about what should be an intimate night of techno. if you haven't done it yet, read RA's label of the month spotlight for stroboscopic, as well as a sick mix by lucy (direct link), made entirely of tracks from the label's 'monad' digital series; he'll also be releasing a record on prologue soon as well. there's a lot going on that night but this is my priority... $6 presales - a steal! - are still available at the RA event page.

here's this excellent new ambient mix by black dog ... much respect to these guys for sharing their musical thoughts with the world, besides their excellent album from earlier this year.

and a lot of mixes have popped up lately that i'm about to jump on. no reviews yet, but i think/hope these will be good:
iori - modyfier process234 (soundcloud link)
sandwell district radio mix 2 (tracklist at where next?)
ancient methods - FACT mix 188

that's it for now. more mixes to come soon, including one by yours truly!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

fresh jams

hello! i'm still kickin'.... been busy as always. last weekend's inaugural sonar chicago festivities went pretty well (more on that later), and i am working on a review of anders ilar's new album for bleep43. so until my next essay, here's a bit of what i've been tuning to lately...

dasha rush live act, berghain berlin 2010 - dasha just put this up last week, a 1.5hour extract of a 2.5hour live set at berghain club in berlin earlier this year. this is deep and dirty, with dasha throwing down tons of nonstop hypnotic rhythms and noisy effects. if you want a good introduction to the sound of dasha rush and her fullpanda record label, i'd recommend this.

graphite north mix volume 5 - now, here is a mix series with potential. dj identities are kept hidden, but you can see the tracklists which all look intriguing. this one is an absolute banger: rough, hard, industrial, as the 'unseen selector' slowly tightens the noose and drops a twisted vocal track right smack-dab in the middle... check out the graphite north blog for more mixes. i think i found out about this a while ago but - my fault - got distracted elsewhere... now i'm definitely keeping my eye on this project.

clyde drexler september 2010 promo mix - made in anticipation of opening for a show on marcel dettman's australia tour (as well as a smashing debut here in chicago), clyde drexler throws down 50 minutes of slinky, slow-burning grooves. i really like how long the tracks blend together on this one, as well as the dirty ending. (EDIT: i am an idiot, and just realized that this is not dettmann, but clyde drexler, who provided dj support for dettmann at his tea party in australia)

go go go! expect my sonar review soon, as well as a new anatomy mix...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

my tips for sonar chicago 2010

it is upon us! for the first - and hopefully not the last - time, sonar, barcelona's premier international music and arts festival, will descend upon chicago with a set of free public events backed by a variety of after-party options. there's a lot to choose from, and i may not be aware of everything, and i may not be familiar with every artist involved. but for now, here's my thoughts about the upcoming weekend...

first off, check out the official sonar chicago page and get informed about the venues involved. click here for more information about millennium park. it is the shiny, silver-green jewel of chicago's downtown loop area, and the jay pritzker pavilion is, in this author's mind, the best outdoor venue in chicago. besides the sheer beauty of the place, entry is free; the park is surrounded by amazing views of the city; and visitors are usually allowed to bring alcohol (and, in fact, entire picnics) onto the pritzker's lawn which stretches behind the seating bowl and which features impressive acoustics. capacity is 10,000+.

in contrast, the friday and saturday events (also free) will be held in much smaller rooms in the chicago cultural center. the building is more than a hundred years old and is chock-full of artistic and architectural goodies, but the main event spaces for sonar - the preston bradley hall, and claudia cassidy theater - can only hold a few hundred people. it may be a good idea to arrive early. and don't forget: besides the music noted below, the cultural center will host sonar cinema, which will be playing experimental films both friday and saturday.

another important venue for the weekend will be smartbar, located under the metro (concert venue) near wrigley field on the north side. as always, thursday and friday will have 4am closing times, while saturday night will close at 5am. if you don't know much about smartbar, click here to find out. the club is the best in the city for providing good electronic dance music in an relaxed, inclusive environment, and its program for the weekend is stacked. now, on to the music...

sonar in the pritzker pavilion, millennium park - what better way to start off a weekend of music than a night under the pritzker's arches, nestled against the city skyline? dutch dubstep maestro martyn will headline the festivities, and it should be interesting to see how the venue handles his bass-heavy dj set. i'm also looking forward to jimmy edgar; his recently released album xxx continues to push the young artist's erotic take on synth-heavy electro and glitch. he'll play a live set earlier in the evening. click here for set-times.

faltyDL at smartbar - the beginning of what should be an excellent trio of nights for smartbar... with a strong set of local support dj's (fun fact: dj warp oversees the city's public music program), the headline set goes to new york city's faltyDL, who has been producing some classy garage/2-step jams lately.

jimmy edgar at juicy wine co. - to those who are particularly turned on by jimmy edgar's set, he will also be playing an afterparty later that evening, just northwest of the downtown area. not sure if i'll make this one, but hey - it's free!

sonar in the chicago cultural center - friday sees the festival move indoors to the elegant confines of the chicago cultural center. my pick for the day activities is nosaj thing's audio/visual live set. i don't know much about the visual side of things, but i know nosaj thing has been winning over fans lately with his melodic take on glitchy dance music. i understand oval's live set is worth catching as well... click here for set-times.

sonar club night at smartbar - this is a very eclectic lineup... lush electro and weird disco seem to be the main course before things turn more dubstep-y with cosmin TRG and appleblim. each artist gets an hour to do their thing before appleblim takes over at 2am to close the night. i'm most excited about appleblim's set; hailing from the UK, the dude has been crafting cut after cut of forward thinking dubstep. click here for the lineup and set-times. and don't forget: only $5 cover for smartbar all night!

sonar in the chicago cultural center - the last day of formal sonar activities, with one last healthy dose of experimental sounds. my pick for the day is definitely ben frost; i've grown quite fond of last year's album by the throat which showcases frost's unique take on dark, distorted aggression... and i'm expecting his live set to fill the cultural center with a dense cloud of noise. also, chicago's own benn jordan will oversee a performance under his flashbulb moniker, featuring the new millennium orchestra (more info here). and keeping with the hometown love, barcelona's own bRUNA and huan show off their stuff as well. and then there's la chambre des machines rounding out the bill that should leave you certifiably insane by the end of the evening. aaaand back to sonar's website for set-times.

marcel dettmann at smartbar - fuck yeah! after some initial skepticism, smilecoldanatomy has grown quite fond of the berliner's eponymous album debut... mostly because the individual tracks are simply fantastic dj tools. dettmann is known as a musician without compromise (surely seen in the rough, repetitious nature of his music), so it should be interesting to see what and how he plays at smartbar, but the club will no doubt be filled with techno all night long. after missing him in barcelona last year at sonar, and having him cancel his detroit appearance earlier this summer, i'm looking forward to seeing what dettmann will do. go back to if necessary.

secret son@r gallery featuring roman flugel - a very recent addition to the weekend's festivities sees edm-chameleon roman flugel headlining a loft party *somewhere* on the north side that should go into the wee hours of sunday morning. not quite familiar at all with the guy's work (i know. i suck, right?), but a squad of chicago dj's and what should be a relaxed afterparty setting sounds like a good idea if you need to clear your head a bit after smartbar. check out the RA event page here.

hi five mobilee! at green dolphin - after a long weekend of all sorts of electronic and experimental sounds, wind down at green dolphin and celebrate 5 years of operation for berlin-based dance music label mobilee. last year label co-owner anja schneider helped provide an excellent soundtrack to the 'varsity all-stars' day party at moretti's. this time around, she's joined by another mobilee artist:, who will be performing a live set. the action takes place on green dolphin's back patio, which has seen a handful of excellent day parties already this summer; this looks to be a proper way to 'celebrate' the change of seasons. more lineup info and advanced tickets at the RA event page.

... and, from my current point of view, that about covers it for the weekend. i'll be busy all weekend with music, but expect some reviews and final thoughts sometime within the next week or two. let's all hope for a successful debut of sonar in chicago... cheers!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

after labor day...

hello! i'm still alive and kickin'... i've just been busy with work as well as tons of live music around chicago lately. here's some quick bits for your tuesday morning:

new RA podcasts - resident advisor has been on a bit of a roll lately with its podcast series. last week featured a set from bruno pronsato, as well as an interview revealing his upcoming releases (a new public lover single is out very soon, with public lover AND bruno pronsato albums seemingly ready to be released later this year and early next year) . this week's featured mixer is superpitcher. the guy has made a name for himself pushing dreamy, melancholy dance music that often (and purposefully) borders on the pretentious. i'm not a big fan of his own material... then again i haven't dived too deep into his catalog. i might have to change that after this charming mix of 'voodoo' house music. he has just released a new album on his 'home' label kompakt, entitled kilimanjaro.

music for falling asleep to - check out this list of 10 ambient albums to doze off to. with albums by artists like brian eno, sigur ros, and wolfgang voigt on the list, i think i approve!

todd burns interviews plastikman - first done in july (in the midst of the plastikman world tour), RA's todd burn features the full transcript of his interview with richie hawtin on his own blog. one big topic of discussion is the challenge for hawtin to recreate his plastikman sound as well as the challenge to make something new.

and if you need some more new tunes, here are my quick picks...

juho kahilainen's new all-analog live project 'mind over machine' - juho told me a bit about this idea when he was working on his anatomy mix, so i'm excited to finally get a taste of what he was talking about. he goes in a bit more depth at this facebook event page for the live debut of the project. expect disorienting bleeps and cerebral acid lines in this short but tasty set...

smear - process part 231 - another excellent collection of sounds from one of the guys from forward strategy group. i don't even know how to describe this other than to say that smear brings the noise here. very interesting set; download now!

that's all for now. up next i'll preview this weekend's SONAR festivities!