Friday, February 24, 2012

new chart (february)

in lieu of le friday funk, check out my february chart at RA:

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lots of excellent new techno going around currently. the new henning baer EP on sonic groove sounds great; go check one of its tracks, with a funky video accompaniment, on youtube. and semantica continues on an excellent run with a new record by developer. and then all the rest...

and hey, check out my RA review of hakimonu's excellent full-length album, and stay tuned for my next album review!

Monday, February 20, 2012

monday moods: Ø - oleva (2008, sähkö recordings)

time for another monday moods session. today, i'll be praising one of my favorite electronic albums of recent years: oleva.
o oleva
oleva was released in 2008 on sähkö recordings by Ø, known formally as mika vainio of finland. most recently, vainio has been a member of the vladislav delay quartet (check out some of the tunes here on the eminently linkable discogs). his career in sound production, however, extends back more than two decades. since the early '90s, he's been part of the acclaimed duo/one-time trio pan sonic alongside ilpo väisänen - a project that is allegedly in "cold storage" after the release of 2010's gravitoni. while pan sonic's material usually centered on tougher dancefloor stuff, vainio's music as Ø digs deep into experimental voids. on oleva, the sixth Ø long player, he's found a perfect balance between slow-mo techno and gloomy ambiance.

the album starts beatlessly with 'unien holvit,' a disquieting array of windy drones, beeping tones and thick bass pulses.

later, vainio conjures up a reinterpretation of pink floyd's classic 'set the controls for the heart of the sun.' here the title is cleverly changed to 'set the controls to the heart of the sun,' but it's obviously a floyd rework - and an excellent one, even if it doesn't build to a thrilling climax like the original. check pink floyd's take here, and observe how their exotic melody is recaptured by vainio's twisted bass work.

oleva's latter half descends into near-nothingness, but not before 'vastus' offers up one last set of anxious beats.

consider this a teaser: you'll have to go find oleva to hear how it ends, but last track 'uistetun palaava taajuus' is a subtly triumphant coda to this hour-long journey. i've read this album may be one of mika vainio's most accessible albums, and that's probably true. but it won't stop some listeners from saying these are some of the strangest sounds ever hung off of the techno name-tag. but like almost all of vainio's music, i like to say: oleva ranks among the purest approaches to techno i've ever heard. dark, lo-fi, cerebral, yet still timelessly captivating... enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

monday moods: zooloft

it's been a while, but it's time for some fresh monday moods. today, i'm simply passing along two excellent recordings from the zooloft duo of obtane and giorgio gigli, in action in barcelona last month.

first up is a two hours of ambient, 'modern classical' and related rhythmic electronics. expect dramatic sounds from zooloft alongside the likes of murcof, clock DVA, iori and raime. you can find it here at clubbingspain (scroll to the bottom for the download/'descargar' link) and of course, if you're fluent in spanish or able to use a web translator, please be sure to check out the accompanying interview with both giorgio and obtane. stream the set on soundcloud.

and now here's a treat. later that night in barcelona, both artists played sets at moog club... and here's obtane's live session, downloadable at the zooloft homepage. as usual for obtane, it's a menacing trip, full of his trademark growls and deep, sexy sci-fi terror.

kudos to giorgio, obtane and clubbingspain, discos paradisos and moog for three hours of zooloft sounds... enjoy! and look out for zooloft 00I (that's the record art at the top of this post) - it's another dark techno journey featuring an excellent remix from orphx. keep up with zooloft at facebook and the new westilltry! tumblr.

Friday, February 10, 2012

friday funk

it's gonna be a slow weekend for me here in chicago. so this is what's in my ears (rick wade) and on my mind at the moment:

MOOMIN MORNING IN THE WINDY CITY i'm really excited about this one - an excellent booking for chicago. moomin's LP the story about you was one of my favorite albums from last year, and the german dj obviously has classy tastes (like just about everyone from the smallville label/family) as evidenced by this clubberia mix, which has been stuck on my playlist for months now. moomin will be playing an early morning party next sunday, alongside a fine group of local dj's. nice one. check out the details on facebook and/or RA.

MONOLAKE SHOWS HIS GHOSTS robert henke is back in action with a new album, ghosts. the announcement is old news, sure, but it will be released at the end of the month. i'll be keen to pick up a vinyl copy or two as soon as possible; silence from two years ago already commands 'collectors' prices on discogs. anyway, ghosts seems like it should meet with plenty of anatomy approval here, especially given such an openly abstract album name (compared to prior titles like hongkong and polygon cities). go read the words at "Some kind of monotonous moans that seem to come from nowhere." looking forward!

THE BEAN VERSUS LUMINOUS FIELD this looks like a classic chicago public art spectacle. millennium park's 'cloud gate' - aka that big huge bean-mirror - will get bathed in psychedelic light and rhythms over the next 10 days. check the picture to the right, read all about it at the trib, go!

and now, for a change of pace (and dj skirt)...

THE OCTOPUS! that's a cool-looking exclamation with all caps and all italics, right? anyway you may wonder why i diverged from my usual cosmic imagery at the top of this post. it's because of this very interesting story about octopuses. under the sea, under the sea!

DEADMAU5 TO LEAD TERRIFYING GRAMMY-NIGHT PERFORMANCE COLLAB all on one stage: deadmau5, david guetta, the foo fighters, lil wayne, and others... whatever the grammys are smoking this year, i will *not* be trying to grab from their stash. we live in a crazy, fucked up world.

okay, that's it from my end. i'll have some monday moods to serve up next; until then, have a radical weekend.

Friday, February 3, 2012

new chart (january)

2012 has started off with lots of excellent new music. check out my chart from last month, and keep your eyes peeled for my february picks.

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that's right, i threw in a proper song from the doors - created before their atrocious, reputation-ruining collaboration with skrillex.

oh, and tune in to my latest RA review - this one is for gianluca meloni and dino sabatini (aka modern heads) on dino's new label, outis. excellent stuff, methinks. coming soon: my first album review on RA, and a new mix or two...