Thursday, December 31, 2009

i'm still not dead, here's still some more mixes!

happy last day of the first decade of the second millennium (i think). i've been too busy to focus on writing lately but i've been enjoying some delicious mixes lately. here's some:

dasha rush - mnml ssgs mx40: intense vertical and sleepless horizontal
another gem from mnml ssgs... i had never heard of dasha rush before listening to these mixes, but since that first listen i've been keen to check out her sound and her record label, fullpanda. there are actually two parts to this mix: 'intense vertical' aptly describes the 80 minutes or so of deep, driving, atmospheric techno... i've already listened to this all the way through a number of times and it is lovely. 'sleepless horizontal' is a bit more... experimental. dasha takes a spoken-word text and layers it with ambient soundscapes. the musical backing provides an interesting context for the story; definitely an intriguing 'read.' check out the ssgs blog for more info and tracklisting.

suspect - live set, june 2007 paris
found out about this guy by looking up the fullpanda label and its team of producers. even though this is more than two years old, to me it really exhibits a bit of a timeless quality. it's only a half-hour long, but it definitely sounds like it would fit in with dasha rush and her label: more intense techno with disorienting melodies. check out his website for more information and a bunch of free tracks (which i've admittedly not scrutinized yet).

scion - dj set at nightgroove 2001
not really sure what the origin of this is and the sound quality is average at best, but who cares when it's this good. scion is substance and vainqueur, two parts of the chain reaction collective and some of the original purveyors of dub techno, so it makes sense that these guys would have an amazing collection of tracks to work with. this mix goes all over the place, and sometimes the transitions between different tracks and moods is pretty rough, but really, the track selection is stellar. the mix usually goes back and forth between hypnotic, dubby house/techno and more 'authentic' dub tracks filled with effects. did i say these tracks are fucking amazing? definitely worth a late-night listen. check an incomplete tracklisting here.

ok, that's it for now: three (well, technically four) mixes to bite into; all will require a bit of patience but it will be rewarded. i hope to discuss my thoughts regarding electronic dance music in 2009, including some of my favorite releases and whatnot... but until then, enjoy these mixes and happy new year!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

review: 'fall deep' party with wolf+lamb

this past wednesday, devoted chicago edm heads were treated to new york city's wolf+lamb - actually, it was just gadi mizrahi, half of the duo - at a 'hardt and soul' loft party on the eve (read: morning) of thanksgiving.

i arrived at the south loop location around 1:30am, after wandering around and finding the right alley. entrance into the party was low key and facilitated by a bouncer manning the door and a freight elevator shuttling party people up to the event space. the venue was one big, wide, concrete room with a low ceiling, appropriately minimal lighting, and a view overlooking the city. the soundsystem could have been louder for such a big room, but worked for the 150-200 (in my very rough estimate) people in attendance; the place definitely could have filled up at least twice as much. regardless, the crowd was wholly enthusiastic and there was plenty of room to dance.

after catching up with some friends over the ending section of philip stone's set (i recognized a "lonely people only" track he had played at a previous party), i got up close to see party promoter gianna hardt play a solid, groovy set leading up to gadi's opening.

at around 3am, gadi took the reins with enthusiasm and plenty of showmanship, wearing (and frequently taking off) a masquerade eye-mask and scarf while dancing behind the decks. his mixing was usually on and he played to the eager crowd... until about an hour into his set. nearing 4 o'clock, gadi should have been cutting it deep to the tuned-in crowd, but instead he dropped the bpm's and quickly faded into some excruciatingly slow, soulful jams. almost the entire room stopped dancing; my quick questioning of some buddies revealed that all wanted gadi to pick up the pace. one person pointed out how this was the wolf+lamb style from nyc, but here in chicago the sudden change cleared a huge chunk of people from the dance floor and out of the party.

after about 15 minutes of this nonsense, gadi emerged from his hole and brought back that steady electro-inflected 4/4 beat that everybody was craving. unfortunately, this happened a few more times, but besides the self-indulgence of these slow interludes and the occasional poor transition, i think gadi played a good set with lots of fun tracks that the crowd ate up - being the geek that i am, i noticed him cuing a bunch of wolf+lamb material on his laptop. i took off around 6:30, while gadi - still in a dazed sort of focus - kept spinning to a happy little group of a dozen or so dancers.

props to gianna and her 'hardt and soul' concept: in my opinion, the space was perfect: it was discrete yet easily-accessible via public transit. the primary lighting, coming from the dj booth and a line of floor lighting-wire, conveyed a pretty cool vibe accented by the ambience of the view outside. an open free water fountain was appreciated, along with a not-too-expensive bar. good spot, good people, good music; all in all, a solid party.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

review: audion at smartbar

this past weekend, matthew dear returned to chicago under his audion guise to present his 'hecatomb' live show. i had seen the this audio/visual show over the summer in europe twice, including the debut in barcelona, so i had a good idea of what to expect for the night, but i was still impressed.

i stepped into smartbar around 1:30am to see local dj frankie vega warming up the crowd... with some intense high-bpm techno. i immediately noticed three circular screens hung from the ceiling as well as one big screen covering part of the dance floor; my worrying that this wouldn't have the visual accompaniment was for naught, and as frankie finished his set, i could see matthew and others prepare the audio and visual equipment for his set.

as i expected, matthew started his live set verrrry slowly, with just a few fragments of sound chained together that developed into a propulsive minimal techno groove. smartbar is good for thumping bass, but not so much for mids, probably because it's pretty cave-like. when i saw this in barcelona with a bigger, taller venue, the mids sparkled (and it was amazing). at smartbar, not so much, but that's a minor gripe; you could still definitely hear matthew's trademark chords and glitches over the never-ending chug-chug rhythm. i could understand how it may have sounded boring or noisy to some but i just love this frustrating, sexual, style of edm. i absolutely loved the transitions, which seemed to make the music go in and out of focus. throughout the night, i could feel how matthew would use the set rhythm as a jumping-off point. one highlight was an excellent live take on "look at the moon", which was dropped off the 1-beat and kept like that for its duration.

the screens worked well, given the low ceiling of the club. there were a few different combinations of visuals (mostly geometric/circular shapes), which were very psychedelic, especially when matthew 'strobed' them blindingly to mess with your vision. the music reached a disorienting sort of 'peak' as matthew slowed everything down to a noisy, distorted drone, from which he built back up for one last pummeling section.

i'm pretty familiar with most of matthew dear's stuff, but i could only point out a few loops and sections of familiar material. smartbar was filled nicely and the dancefloor stayed filled for the entire set, with more than a few heads just standing and watching the displays in a trance; for this reason i wish the crowd would have been flooded with masked people like the barcelona set (see his website) just to freak everyone out a little... for the nerds: matthew used two computers. i didn't catch more than a glimpse of the computer handling the visuals, but i noticed his computer was running ableton live and he used a standard dj mixer and mpd-24 midi controller. he played about 90 minutes standalone, building his set from nothing and taking it apart at the end.

after his set i was able to chat him up briefly as he took his setup apart. he says he's got a new matthew dear (vocal) album coming out in the spring.

all in all, a great show, and a convincing statement for the power behind synchronized audio and visual art.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i'm not dead, here's some more mixes!

hello, team - i've been absent for a long minute. my recently-acquired job has had me working lots of hours the past few weeks (including lots of overnight and early morning shifts) in preparation for the holidays... but i've still been checking out lots of fresh music - at least, fresh to me. anyhoo, here's some stuff i've been listening to:

bruno pronsato - bunker podcast 057
from one of smilecoldanatomy's favorite edm musicians comes a livePA recording from earlier this year... and here's proof that experimental-minded producers like bruno need a great soundsystem to really shine. i've seen his live sets twice now, both times at the recently-closed sonotheque, and while the music has been great, the sound could have been much better. listening to this live recording at home lets you really tune into all the polyrhythmic loops and clicks that bruno throws out. you'll hear selections from why can't we be like us? and the others' take EP, as well as snippets from his more recent epic the make up the break up sprinkled throughout this relentless yet sexy 90-minute set. killer!

dela - ten p.m.
as part of milwaukee's 'projekt' collective, dela has helped bring mil-town some solid national and international talent. unfortunately i haven't had the chance to make it up to milwaukee to attend an event... i hope to, soon! until then, i'll be appeased by this tight hour-long mix mixing some nice, smooth, dubby tracks with some more clickity-click beats. great stuff! check out dela's page on his projekt website for a tracklisting and more info.

joy orbison - doldrums 001
i think i found out about this dude via mnml ssgs. dubstep usually isn't my thing, but remove that irritating womp that so annoyingly defines the genre, and my attention may be gained. sure enough, this 40-minute long mix has virtually no womp and was indeed worthy of my attention. it still swings wildly on that percussive backbeat, but it keeps a fast tempo with colorful, happy melodies and lyrics throughout, ending with a sick pair of joy orbison's own tracks. neat! i found this blog post with more details on this london-based dj/producer as well as a tracklisting for this mix, which seems to be a preview of his soon-to-be-launced doldrums label. check out his myspace as well.

that should keep you busy. until next time, i'll be checking out plenty of other mixes, as well as a bunch of actual studio productions (mostly LP), as i formulate a list of my favorite music from this year. enjoy!

RIP: sonotheque )-;

so while i've been away from this blog, it turned out that the the murmurs were true - word had been spreading for a few weeks about a possible change in ownership at sonotheque, a nightclub just a mile west of downtown that has hosted a wealth of interesting electronic music. i had only been attending events at this club for the past year and a half or so, but i've seen a lot good music and met a lot of fun, interesting people here. unfortunately, sonotheque finally closed its doors for good this past weekend.

from the chilled-out beats of the sight below and lusine, to the minimal grooves of daniel bell, to the weirdo stylings of bruno pronsato - sonotheque became, along with smartbar, my favorite club for edm. anyone who knows me knows i only go to these sorts of places for the music, and even if people bitched about the soundsystem or the step dividing the dance floor, i still loved the vibes of the place, knowing i would see familiar faces whose focus was on the music and not on looking cool...

it's a fucking shame this happened so quickly, and with so little fanfare. a club of this caliber deserved a better send-off, but perhaps the almighty dollar didn't allow that. oh well, i can only hope that smartbar picks up the slack.

good bye, sonotheque - my memories of dancing with good people within your chic confines will not soon be forgotten!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

more mixes!

hello all, haven't had much free time lately; i've either been busy working or tuning in to a bunch of different mixes and albums, especially stuff claimed by some as "the best of 2009"... anyhoo, here's a few more mixes for your ears to digest:

juho kahilainen - together and none
found out about this guy through his recently-released EP on prologue, and had to learn more about him. on his myspace, he describes his music as "depressive trance," which i think is a good description for this assemblage of deep, ominous tracks. check out his website for more information (it's an interesting read...) and a tracklisting.

shed - live PA at sonar festival 2009, barcelona
honestly, i should have been at this. i was in barcelona and wanted to attend sonar, but seeing shed and marcel dettman's short time slots convinced me to go check out something cheaper. too bad i didn't make it... as mnml ssgs puts it, this guy knows how to "bring the hammer." his 2008 album shedding the past is a masterpiece, a modern take on dub-inflected techno full of depth and emotion. some might consider this live PA repetitive and abrasive, i just think it's marvelous. intensely hypnotic... so move your body.

insideout - bunker podcast 61
from one of my current favorites, recorded in june at a bunker party. compared to his stranger things should happen mix i discussed before, this is a bit more tech-y, with some weird, deep tracks sprinkled throughout - solid. check out the bunker podcast series for a brief blurb on the mix, as well as many more sets worth your ear-time.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

a couple fresh mixes...

happy sunday night and happy halloween! i'll bring you some monday monolake tomorrow but for now i wanted to discuss a few recent mixes i've been enjoying.

panorama bar 02 mixed by tama sumo
here is some nice deep house courtesy of the ostgut guys. i had never heard of tama sumo before this, but given this is an ostgut release, i figured it would be worth a listen. i've actually tried it a few times and it's growing on me, especially the first 60 minutes or so, although there's a vocal track near the end that sorta grinds my gears. highlights for me are the opening tinman track (this and the hype on mnml ssgs has convinced me that i'll need to check out more of his stuff), and the gorgeous 'u & i' by prosumer and murat tepeli.

simply devotion (cassy in the mix)
another house-y mix on cocoon with a good amount of female vocals, including cassy's distinctive voice but with a bit more old-school, soulful jams than tama sumo's mix above. this also ends on a very strong note... whateva!

peteone - muse DC 2009-10-22
this is a recording of a dj set from my buddy peteone. a bit more variety than the above mixes, as peteone takes the set from a fun, ethnic, tribal feel into a more tech-oriented territory before a few mellow mirko loko tracks finish things off.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

vainqueur - elevation (1996, chain reaction 07)

after discussing some modern dub-techno, let's take it back to the mid 1990s and discuss one of the early proponents of the genre: rene lowe, aka vainqueur, an early contributor to the venerable post-basic channel label, chain reaction. here is one of his masterpieces: elevation.

vainqueur's music is definitely influenced by basic channel's dub-inflected minimal techno of just a few years earlier, but whereas the BC axis placed heavy emphasis on unrelenting drum loops, elevation lacks almost all 'conventional' percussion, leaving only barely-pronounced stabs of sound to indicate rhythm under a blissful, loud storm of analog noise. both tracks here extend well past the 10-minute mark; without the hyperactive drumming common in his peers' music, but with staggered rhythmic elements (in 5/4 time signatures?), vainqueur creates a spacious environment for home listening and contemplation.

i tend to dissect and analyze the music i listen to, but vainqueur's never-ending drones have, in my experience, proven basically impenetrable to such scrutiny. this is something to put on and relax to, or even sleep to. big thanks to ripped in glasgow for sharing this gem. enjoy!

deepchord - electromagnetic dowsing (2005, s y n t h)

electromagnetic dowsing is a pair of loooong, hypnotic, dub-techno tracks for your late night, courtesy of rod modell aka deepchord, on mike huckaby's label s y n t h.

"step 1" sounds like a jam session between some hippies with bongos and a geek with electronic noise generators... and it works: the acoustic percussion locks into a groove as the haze swirls above. "step 2" features a more jackin' 4/4 beat, and more defined chord progressions, accented by occasional decayed shards of sound that fall away from the motion of the track.

both tracks push the less-is-more approach for about 11 minutes apiece, combining a driving rhythm section with dubby atmospherics and little else. in other words, typical deepchord/echospace.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

false - 2007 (2007, m-nus)

ahh, matthew dear, how i love you. under his own name, as well as the aliases jabberjaw, audion, and false, the guy has carved his niche in the electronic dance music community with hypnotic, yet frustrating experiments in minimalism. while dear has been focused on his audion project recently, i still believe this false album on the m-nus imprint, 2007, is his boldest musical statement to date.

2007 is an hour-long, continuous, mid-tempo mix of 14 tracks, gradually emerging and then receding back into a haze of sound. simplistic, clicky beats are the name of the game, with heavily effected vocals popping up occasionally throughout the journey. honestly, it's hard to pick a standout section as everything just melts together. for me, the noise blasts of "fed on youth," one of my absolute favorite matthew dear productions, provide an appropriate late 'peak' before a collage of vocal snippets bring the album to its conclusion.

the album was considered by RA to be one of the best of 2007 - although i believe it should have placed above dear's own-name album asa breed. while i strongly disagree with the reviewer's claim that this "is almost not danceable" - there is too insistent of a beat to not dance, methinks - i do agree that this album is an amazing effort that sounds almost timeless. that 2007 still sounds modern and even futuristic more than two years later in this ever-evolving landscape of electronic music is testament to the strength of this album.

another sunday with monolake

how about another start to your sunday with smilecoldanatomy's favorite music wizard(s), monolake?

after the dubby ambience of last week's selections, let's try out a more immediately melancholy affair: fragment endlos from 1992. robert henke discusses this half-hour long track here, and it definitely is a dark, intimate work of art. a forlorn piano melody is looped ad infinitum, as sustained horn-like tones call out over a barren landscape occasionally inhabited by a softly chiming tone and other abstract sounds (doors opening/closing? the sound of footsteps? a passing train?). this is pure ambience - no rhythm, only the emotion carried by a few simple sounds. download here.

now let's change directions completely, with "decay," a recent and more straightforward techno track. even though i think this is a bit more evocative of monolake's ambient techno style, henke explains here his disinterest with the track, saying it is an artifact that should have been made 10 years previously. i still think it's an enjoyable listen: a steady beat thumping away as sounds reverberate endlessly. to trained ears it should sound like monolake, albeit an older track... good stuff, i think: what say you?

rounding out this sunday's monolake discussion with a more modern piece of music, take a peek at this half-hour edit of a 2008 performance by termulator x, a duo of robert henke and jay ahern. read up on the collaboration here - the equipment involved is an interesting combination of old hardware and new electronics. this track is pretty fucking relentless, made primarily of skittery, broken beats and processed synth noise-melodies. check it out here!

that's it for now. enjoy your sunday, and go bears!

rod modell - incense & black light (2007)

rod modell, a producer with a decade-long output, might be more familiar to the dub-techno enthusiasts out there as an integral member of the shadowy deepchord/echospace collective. while his works under that umbrella of aliases are known mostly for long, 10+ minute dub soundscapes, 2007's incense & black light works well as a journey through shorter tracks. the album evokes feelings similar to the deepchord/echospace sound, but the shorter tracks introduce different moods more frequently, including occasional forays into darker territory - check out the ominous swirls of "red light," as well as "temple," which has an unsettling, mechanical murmur that reminds me of pole's productions.

while it's easy to get lost in the middle of the album, which offers little in the way of percussion (it is either very muffled or nonexistent), it is book-ended properly. opener "aloeswood" sounds like a machine slowly, hesitatingly being started, and the closer "morning again" is an aptly titled, blissed-out conclusion.

the album artwork hints at the origins of this work (it was produced in hong kong) and provides a visual reference - static structures surrounded by blurry, hazy motion - for the music's interplay between reduced but insistent rhythm, and atmosphere. this is a great one for late at night (hence the late hour in which i'm discussing this), and because of its shorter track lengths, i recommend it as an accessible introduction to the world of ambient/dub/techno.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

prologue portefuille one (2009, prologue)

recently i discussed richie hawtin's plastikman project. one big reason why i like plastikman is that even though it is very minimal, he usually has some drawn out atmospheric noise in the background to settle the music within a deep, disturbing atmosphere.

during the past few months, due to some mnml ssg mixes and an RA label of the month spotlight, i've been attempting to wrap my brain around the concept of 'headfuck techno,' and i think i'm finally getting it. from the munich, germany-based label prologue comes the EP, prologue portefuille one, a trio of tracks that are definitely exemplary of a new, futuristic sound that harkens back to the simplistic subleties of plastikman, 15 years ago.

on this EP are three producers - gianluca meloni, claudio prc, and obtane - whom i had never heard of before, and each one puts forth a lengthy, hypnotic epic that focuses almost entirely on rhythm. busy drumlines phase in and out as rhythmic acid melodies gradually transform and solidify, all under a dark atmosphere that sounds like an icey wind, or a steady inhale or exhale of breath. there's not much else to these tracks, barely even a semblance of melody, but what's there carries so much depth.

this is an amazing record, one that rewards patient, introspective listening on good headphones or a nicely controlled, enclosed soundsystem. prologue's take on minimalist electronic music is refreshing and exciting; the label is barely a year old, and i can't help but think that big things are in store for these guys...

sonar 2010 dates announced: june 17-19

sonar is one of europe's premier summer music festivals, taking place in barcelona, spain. i was actually in barcelona for the week of sonar this past summer, but considering the expensive tickets, plus a wealth of other events that take place around the city that week/end, i decided against attending. i now regret not going and next year i'm hoping to make it back to barcelona and spend at least a day or night at the official festival.

according to the official sonar website, the 2010 version of the festival is due to take place june 17-19 and will actually be split between barcelona and a coruna (pardon my ignorance/inability to place a tilde over the 'n' in that latter city) - a strange idea, in my opinion, because the cities are literally on opposite sides of the country. furthermore, a full-length film to be released in chapters will reveal the religious significance of the festival's new partnership with a coruna. check out the preview at the official site; it looks interesting, to say the least. of course, expect tons of unofficial parties, particularly in barcelona, as the global edm community descends upon the city to showcase their sound and celebrate the beautiful spanish summer...

so - who wants to go to barcelona with me next summer?!

mixes for saturday

ok, i'm gonna cool off after recalling the unfortunate showing at spybar a few nights ago. here's a few mixes i've been enjoying lately, besides this bunker podcast by [a]pendics.shuffle i discussed earlier this month:

giorgio gigli - mnml ssgs mx31
when in doubt, refer to mnml ssgs. i first listened to this one a few months ago - well, technically i only listened to the first half on a night drive between chicago and northwest indiana, but i specifically remember how much bass this brought out of the car's soundsystem. i've listened to it all the way through a few times recently and still can't get over it. the first half is so dark and foreboding, slow and almost beat-less - i'll just quote the mnml ssg description which calls it a "deep, ambient soundscape." frankly i would be fine if the mix continued in this fashion, but almost precisely half-way through, the beat picks up, gaining steam for the rest of the mix and ending in an alarming, polyrhythmic whirl of sound. i only wish it would have pressed on for longer...

sandwell district - RA podcast 177
i'll admit i haven't heard much out of these guys, but i know they've been well-hyped across the internet for their modern, stark minimalism. this mix is by function, a member of the sandwell district label/collective. like everyone, my tastes are constantly evolving, but i always love a deep, insistent techno mix, and this one satisfies that craving very nicely. some techno veterans complain about how this compares or doesn't compare to a 4- or 5-hour performance in person; unfortunately, many of us are unable to see these guys live so i'll take an hour-long 'condensed' version for listening at home, thank you very much. check out the RA page for a brief interview and tracklisting.

lee burridge - RA podcast 129 - 'all day i dream of her'
this mix has since been archived on RA and is unfortunately unavailable there - i don't know why RA does this, they only share these 'casts with relatively low bitrates so i can't see their collection hogging up too much bandwidth. luckily, i tracked this set down via resonant vibes, another good dance music resource. you can read up a bit more on it (and hunt for a tracklisting in the forum) here on RA, where lee describes the mix as "lovely, dreamy, gorgeous, melancholic music," and i couldn't agree more - just listen to that first track, a melchior remix of pole's "pferd." lee just dj'ed at spybar last night, but i wasn't in the mood to go there again, especially after the nick curly fiasco from the previous night, so i turned this on to get a taste of what i was missing.

and why not an adorable picture of a smiling dog to cap off your week. hope it puts a smile on your face - happy saturday!

review: nick curly at spybar

i think i'm gonna try to make it a habit to post up some reviews of the events i attend around chicago, so i'll start by discussing the near-epic fail that was nick curly's set at spybar a few nights ago.

it was raining pretty hard thursday night, so i figured this would keep the typical club plastic away and bring out the loyal people who were genuinely enthusiastic about the music. well, it almost worked like that: arriving after 1am after getting off work, i found spybar as empty as i've ever seen it (and i only go there if the music warrants it). maybe that's why i ended up getting in for free... although i was supposed to be on the free-all-night RSVP list after confirming the "complimentary admission" with the promoter via email, my name wasn't on the list. luckily i noticed a friend was listed (if you can, always check the list with your own eyes), and had a +1; although the door guy tried to lie about her not being on the list, we ultimately got in for free.

lack of professionalism in both promoter and door guy aside, inside the dance floor was thinly populated, only filling up briefly because of a few 'VIP' parties or whatever. nick curly got on stage around 1:45am and his initial momentum had me excited that he'd throw down a set of his trademark deep-house. however, the dance floor started to clear early, leaving it almost empty by 2:30, when curly should have been deep in the groove. at about this point i felt he was basically giving up: even though he was trying to stay active and dance-y up in the booth and was playing good tracks heavy on his organic, percussive style, i just wasn't impressed by the overall dynamics.

spybar has a 4am curfew on fridays, and while i've seen some dj's - such as magda a few months ago - push the crowd for as long as possible up close to closing time, curly called it quits and the lights came on barely after 3:15am. this night had plenty of potential: i believe this was his chicago debut, and upon arrival i had hoped that a thin crowd would coax a riskier, 'weirder' set out of him, but the lack of energy definitely affected the quality of his performance. my friends and i left disappointed, but we showed as much appreciation to our german visitor as we could. hopefully, nick curly comes back to chicago, and plays a better venue with a bigger crowd.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

tomorrow: NICK CURLY at spybar!

nick curly is a deep house dj/producer from germany, and he runs two labels - 8bit and cecille - that are *the shit*. here's one of his tracks that i've been enjoying a lot recently:

and here's a sick track by ray okpara on cecille:

basically, nick curly is a huge name in the world of house and techno - many heads consider him one of the leaders of the 'new', acoustic percussion-heavy deep house movement - and i think this is his chicago debut. i'm not familiar with koji and kabuto, but i saw local dj phil stone throw down a very good set at a party earlier this summer.

check out the RA event info page for more info. the venue is not my favorite by a long shot, but they bring in some solid international talent like this guy; and if you shoot the promoter an RSVP email (, it's free all night! i think this will be my own little celebration of finally finding a job for the winter...

luna city express - hello from planet earth (2009, moon harbour)

another discovery in barcelona, i was hoping to see luna city express dj at a moon harbour label party in a mall on the harbor, but 'complications' from the previous night (that dragged into that morning) kept me from getting there in time to catch them. don't worry, i was out having other music-related fun, but i was a bit disappointed in missing some moon harbour talent that rarely if ever plays in the states - from the few tracks and mixes i'd heard, it sounds like it woulda been a good one. oh well, i still enjoyed a solid 6 or so hours of the party: matthias tanzmann vs dan drastic, reboot, and then another tag team of mike shannon and ernesto ferreyra.

luna city express - the duo of marco resmann and norman weber - have been producing tracks for moon harbour (as well as a few more) for a few years now, but i believe this is their first LP, and i think hello from planet earth is a fun journey through deep house sexiness. the lazy synth chords that i had come to expect from recordings of their dj sets are dropped throughout the album, as well as vocals both soulful and up front as well as abstract and submerged. but really, this album is all about mixing the funky and the beautiful.

the album starts with an introductory track, shouting that it's last call to hop on the train before a few upright funky tracks give way to the slow 'n sexy "orange soft cake." the following track "mr. jack" is a bit, ahem, awkward, but leads into a suite of gorgeous, spacey tracks.

hello from planet earth ends on an interesting, beat-less collage of sound, but like kaden's album, i really dig the second-to-last track, "heaven's gate," which manages to take far-away, echoed vocal snippets, and combine them with a soft, beautiful atmosphere that definitely reaches for the stars, as the percussion chugs away underneath.

a great, deep album and another arrow in moon harbour's quiver of sexy, fun dance music, hello from planet earth is definitely a musical journey worth sitting down and enjoying from start to finish. i'd recommend this one if you liked mathias kaden's recent LP which i discussed before here on smilecoldanatomy.

luke hess - light in the dark (2009, echocord)

check out this new long-player from detroit's luke hess. i first heard of this producer/dj earlier this summer, when i saw him dj with brian kage under the alias 'reference', after a friend recommended i listen to some of hess's stuff before that show.

i would definitely say that luke hess's work could be considered 'dub-techno.' but unlike the tendencies of chain reaction and deepchord/echospace toward very lengthy, hypnotic epics, most of hess's tracks last around six minutes and are rich in rhythm as well as melody. in my opinion, they dynamics are more song-oriented. some of the tracks also include indecipherable vocoded lyrics.

i think hess has created an intriguing album-length journey through dub and deep space. maybe not a contender for 'album of the year', but definitely a solid album.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

sunday morning with monolake

i wanted to share some more mellow, beatless soundscapes to help you get through your sunday, so i'm going to talk about a few half-hour-plus compositions by one of my favorites, monolake.

first up is the original, uncut version of "indigo," a track originally from the 2001 album cinemascope. most of monolake's music has an austere, academic quality to it, but works like this prove that robert henke and his little gang of nerds can also wring plenty of emotion out of so little source material. composed of simple percussive tweaks, an insistent stabbed dub 'chord', and a few drops of water, these ingredients are simply fluctuated in and out for the extent of the musical journey. less is more, indeed. check out this page for an introduction from the man himself, and try this free direct download link.

next is a 'reworked' version of "indigo" for an art installation. read this page where robert henke describes the process of recreating and recording this piece. composed mainly of atmospheric washes, i think the man himself puts it perfectly when he says indigo_transform fills a room "like a perfume." i think it's amazing how much auditory power is conveyed by a mere drop of water. we are lucky to have a freely-available edit of this 're-composition' - download here!

finally, an official monolake work from 1999, gobi. the desert ep. this is probably the most ambient of the official monolake albums, but compared to the tracks i've discussed above, this ep - actually a single long soundscape - is busier and more mechanical in nature. i think the title works perfectly for this one: i imagine a small machine, slowly moving and shifting in place, in a desert oasis as insects buzz by. again, the minimal aesthetic is applied by employing only a handful of sounds in constantly-changing arrangement.

as always, please check out the official monolake website for a wealth of information and free music, and please support these artists. also, i wouldn't mind you sending them an email encouraging robert and co. to bring their music stateside. cheers, and happy sunday!

plastikman - artifakts (bc) (1998)

plastikman is probably the most well-known production alias for minimal techno guru richie hawtin. there has been some recent buzz that, six years after the frighteningly introverted album closer, richie will be starting a new plastikman project, and he has reached out to his fans to help shape what happens next. seeing richie's m-nus record label showcase here in chicago last year really turned me on to live electronic dance music, but it's his desperately minimal yet disturbingly atmospheric plastikman productions that i'll always hold dear to my heart.

artifakts (bc) was the first plastikman album i listened to; actually it is a compilation of tracks made "before consumed" - the next proper album - hence the (bc) in the title. the album starts with the appropriately-titled "korridor," which spends five minutes ushering you into a dark, beat-less atmosphere of sustained synth tones and a repeated acid 'melody.'

the album mainly alternates between epic, 10+ minute compositions combining percussion and 303 acid lines richie was so good at creating, and drum machine workouts like "hypokondriak" and "skizofrenik." atmospheric effects - both sustained synth melodies as well as ominous washes of sound (and maybe some heavily processed vocal samples) - are dispersed throughout these 'artifakts.' i could write about plastikman forever, but i'll just say my favorite song on this album is "pakard," the slowest moving of the epics here. as simple as the concept sounds, things are always changing, shifting, moving in and out of focus. fittingly, the album ends with a tripped-out conversation between some ravers.

hopefully you're intrigued enough to check this album out. richie was and is a true innovator of the electronic music, and to me, the simplicity of his music is reason for its timeless quality. i hope he can get himself back into this headspace for the next chapter of plastikman. until then, find this album!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

[a]pendics.shuffle - elegance and malice (re-worked) (2009)

i admit i'm not too familiar with [a]pendics.shuffle's producions, seeing who was doing these reworks - thomas melchior and adultnapper - perked my antennae, so i had to give it a listen. in my opinion these tracks definitely carry the traits of their remixers, which is a good thing in both cases.

the 'disturbing idol' remix by melchior productions ltd. requires a bit of patience, but your attention will be rewarded as the track digs into a streamlined groove, starting with effected male vocals and building up a simple, mellow chord progression and a variety of soft, swirling, echoed effects.

in contrast to melchior's light, easy-going track, adultnapper's 'pineal eye remix' of 'perky slip (do you see)' aims to disorient before he brings out the zombie funk. the track starts with a heavy, tribal rhythm before fading in a distorted, swirling riff that gradually grows sharper and sharper. other melodic elements are pieced together (in very adultnapper-esque fashion) as the distortion is turned up and up and up until the track peaks... and drops hard as a new, slightly-subdued buzzsaw riff works with a hushed, incoherent (to me) male vocal under that sinister upper melody.!

at 10 minutes apiece, these tracks take a bit to build up and come down, but i think the pair work great together, offering an interesting contrast of sound and mood.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

new FREE audion track - 'instant in you'

if you know me (or at least my weirdo musical tastes), you know i'm fairly obsessed with matthew dear and the electronic dance music he creates under the names audion and false. so of course i'm pleased that he has recently shared a new audion track, 'instant in you' at his website. i will definitely be writing more about matthew's music soon, but for now, enjoy this groovy little jam and check out the pupil-popping visual art he brings to his new live show.

early warning: audion u.s. tour in november--including a show at smartbar here in chicago!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

pink floyd - 1970-12-22 - 'disgusting, hardly music'

here it is! one of the most intriguing pink floyd performances before the dark side of the moon era, or perhaps ever. just imagine being there: the year is 1970, it's just days before christmas, and you find yourself going to see pink floyd, the premier experimental rock band, perform a monster of a show, playing 7 songs over the course of two and a half hours to a quiet but appreciative audience. perhaps you've also consumed some LSD in order to enhance the experience.

i give the sound quality of this recording a B/B+... this is a very good recording, and you can hear each instrument pretty damn clearly, although there are occasional small drop-outs (my major gripes being a second-long cut right after the scream in 'careful with that axe, eugene' as well as a cut that ends 'set the controls' before the final vocal reprise). i've found many recordings lack the low end where roger waters' bass resides, but you can hear roger plunk away pretty clearly on this one. while i honestly don't think the performance is particularly great, i think it's worth a listen for its historic nature, given the interesting set opener and closer.

a very rare 'performance' of 'alan's psychedelic breakfast'--clocking in at almost thirty minutes long--opens the show. after such a rambling start (you can hear the band enjoying a meal on stage), the band breezes through extended versions of their concert staples.

the show concludes with two long renditions of pink floyd's pre-dsotm album centerpieces. first; 'a saucerful of secrets,' which is interrupted by a power outage right as they start the final section; keyboardist rick wright hops on a grand piano to keep the song alive while power is restored. and finally: a triumphant version of 'atom heart mother,' complete with a backing brass band and choir. i really like the much more common small-band versions of this with the foursome covering the choral parts themselves, but the backing choir works so well in this version. after the song, as the band presumably walks back onstage following the encore break, a perfectly audible shout requesting "bike!" goes unfulfilled (unfortunately, for this syd barrett fan), and instead the band ends the concert with a short reprise of the 'atom heart mother' main theme.

while this isn't my favorite pink floyd performance, it's worth a listen for the good sound quality and song selection. see the included notes and bootleg art for more lineage and background information. please keep this marked as mp3 (~224 vbr) if you're going to share it. enjoy!

Disc 1:
1. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast [29:21]
2. The Embryo [14:33]
3. Fat Old Sun [15:06]
4. Careful With That Axe, Eugene [15:59]

Disc 2:
1. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun [12:21]
2. A Saucerful Of Secrets [25:21]
3. Atom Heart Mother [32:54]
4. Atom Heart Mother (encore) [2:48]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

found on resident advisor...

resident advisor aka RA is a great all-around resource for global electronic music culture. the site offers reviews (of both music and events), as well as event listings and discussion forums, besides its own podcast and other music links. i wanted to share two things that caught my eye on RA recently:

check this article on john roberts, an american dj now based out of berlin. he produces tracks on dial and laid, two related labels run in part by peter kersten aka lawrence/sten. the article also has a streaming music player, so you can listen to full tracks of john's smooth, succinct, mellow house.

RA also has 'the feed,' which provides links to outside websites with interesting edm-related content. just a few minutes ago on the feed, i found this FREE ~scape compilation. ~scape is a record label run by stefan betke, perhaps better known for his production moniker, pole. pole has made some seriously good music for over a decade, usually focused on crackling, dubby ambience. his more recent productions have gotten a bit more lively, but his second album, 2, is perhaps my favorite, with swirling delays that echo into infinity--great for late-night listening. i'm honestly not familiar with ~scape, but given the quality of pole's music, i'm definitely giving this free compilation a close listen.

that's it for now. enjoy your saturday, and stay warm!

Friday, October 9, 2009

monolake - cyan (1996, chain reaction 04)

a few days ago, i showed you some monolake tracks from earlier this year. now, we have monolake's rare first tracks, 'cyan I/II,' with the always-amazing chain reaction label.
the first time i heard of monolake, i was in a bit of a panic to make sure a term paper for my college chaucer course wouldn't be turned in too late. monolake's polygon cities kept me focused with its precise academic beats, but upon surveying monolake's catalog, i found their first album, hongkong to be perhaps my favorite of the bunch. i believe robert henke (the core member of monolake) traveled to the eponymous locale in order to gather ambient source material, and then combined them with subtle percussion tracks to make this album. from this cyan record, 'cyan' starts off with some far-off bird cries (i think?) floating over a 4 on the floor beat, and for the EP, 'cyan II' gets even more spacey than it's a-side.

i am a huuuuge fan of robert henke's work, both under the monolake name as well as his own. in my opinion, robert henke is nothing short of a genius, and deserves more recognition particularly because he designed the very popular ableton music production software. check out his website for more information about his music, tour dates, as well as an archive of free, downloadable tracks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

sts9 - summercamp 2008-5-23 day set

one of my favorite actual 'bands' nowadays is sound tribe sector 9 aka sts9 aka sector 9. i've been a fan since a friend mentioned them a few years ago to me when i was a pretty dirty hippie. they mix live instruments with midi/computer electronics. they used to be much more instrumental and jazzy and funky, but in the past year or so they've really switched over to a more computerized approach to their live show, and i'm not really sure how i feel about it...

summercamp is an early-summer music festival in central illinois. this was my first (and still only) camping festival experience, and it was tons of fun. this sts9 afternoon set was particularly fun. this band is the type that should be playing long late night sets, but here they get a 90 minute time slot before it gets dark, and in my opinion they play their set perfectly, moving quickly to give the audience as much music as they could. the set opens with a beautiful, inspired version of 'move my peeps.' i'm not that big on fan favorite 'lo swaga' anymore, but here it leads immediately into a funky 'aimlessly.' other old school jams are peppered throughout, including 'tap-in,' 'circus' and a cover of the boards of canada's 'roy g biv' played as the sun peeked out on an otherwise cloudy day, and 'kamuy.' after the classy 'kamuy,' the band ends the set with 'ehm,' a then-new song that is now indicative of their preference for live electronics; this early version has some very nice 'organic' touches--piano melodies, as well as some smooth sustained guitar tones--that accompany the glitchy effects.

at the time i was really impressed by this show--so much so that i couldn't enjoy the sounds of umphrey's mcgee later that night, or ever after for that matter--and i still think it holds up pretty well on tape. listen now!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

mixes i've been enjoying

here are a few places to go for good or at least interesting mixes:
mnml ssgs
bunker podcast
resident advisor

and here's a few mixes that i've had on steady rotation lately:

insideout - stranger things should happen
grant aaron aka insideout is a dj now based out of berlin. he runs the clink label along with camea, which produces weird, dark minimal grooves. i came across this summer dj mix a few months ago and was hooked upon the first listen. slow and sexy, just how i like it... a few weeks ago, i was at sonotheque for bruno pronsato and discovered that grant was in attendance, in between shows on a stateside tour. he later treated us to a similarly groovy set at the afterparty until the wee hours of the morning. kudos to grant for helping finish a really fun night. here's his track list for this mix:
1- moritz piske - real one / opossum
2- wolf+lamb - keep me up all night (dancing) / wolf+lamb
3- lee curtiss - south aphrika / wolf+lamb
4- dyed soundorom - she knows / freak'n'chic
5- chris wood & meat - chi-ka-go (phil's unreleased house edit) / below
6- nick höppner - makeover / osgut ton
7- matt john - sacing / perlon
8- unknown - right on tonight
9- melchior productions - choir / cadenza
10- digitaline - altra / cityfox
11- benjamin fehr - niagara / cantenaccio
12- seuil - jealous derviche / lesizmo:r
13- gadi mizrahi - i'll set your house / wolf+lamb
14- shaun reeves - patience / wolf+lamb
15- shaun reeves - cdv/ wolf+lamb
16- stl - silent state / smallville
17- baby ford - parallel life / perlon
18- losoul - deuce / playhouse

daze maxim - livePA - dusseldorf, germany - 2009-09-05
i found out about daze maxim through a collaboration with bruno pronsato under the alias 'the others.' he shares some similarity with bruno in that the music is a bit abstract, but honestly, some of his tracks aren't that impressive to me--although i adore his 'pull absurde'--but i'm a sucker for livePAs soooo we have this recent 40-minute recording of his live set; pretty neat, methinks.

[a]pendics.shuffle - livePA bunker podcast 18, 2008-06-04
a very unique name (his real name is kenneth james gibson), but i had not given this producer's music a listen until very recently. i'll definitely have to keep an eye out for this guy if his tracks are anything like this livePA. dark, deep, disorienting, and with some seductively fractured female vocals. tasty!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

mathias kaden - studio 10 (2009, vakant cd04)

earlier this summer, i went on my first trip to europe, visiting barcelona, ibiza, and amsterdam over the course of 2 weeks. of course, one goal for my trip was to get a good taste of the european dance music culture.

my personal 'white whale' was mathias kaden. turns out he's produced a bunch of tracks for vakant, and after discovering his work earlier this year, i missed out on a number of chances to see him perform in barcelona (including a vakant label party) due to other parties or exhaustion. luckily, i got to see him at awakenings festival in amsterdam, where he played to an adoring sweaty crowd dancing in a cozy white tent.

i love mathias's tracks, which are usually focused on rolling, acoustic percussion and have a really tribal feel to them. but none of it was ever really 'deep'... until the recent release of this, his debut LP, studio 10. i had wondered how his style--mostly displayed through 8-minute tracks--would work in an album-based (ie longer) aesthetic, and i must say i've been pleasantly surprised after a few listens. mathias injects this entire album with depth and soul, helped out in part by a number of lyricists. i think my favorite track is 'panic stricken,' with some smooth male vocals and jazzy call-and-response sax riffs. elsewhere, foreign female vocals speak over decaying, dubbed out beats on 'kawaba.' the album ends on a classy old-school note with '1981,' but i really prefer the penultimate 're menor,' with its mournful violin and exotic melodies.

all in all, this is a solid debut album for mathias kaden.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

monolake - atlas (2009)

check out this pair of tracks from earlier this year, by monolake aka robert henke. this music represents an excellent take on the crossover of hard techno and dub tendencies. heavy, relentless, and tribal, with organic noises (bird calls?) giving this otherwise-cold machine music a bit of warmth and familiarity... i'm a big fan of this stuff. definitely gonna write more about monolake but for now, get on this!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

adultnapper - while he sleeps (2009)

there's a storm raging outside my window, and i've found a pretty good soundtrack to the light show: while he sleeps, from new york's adultnapper. i had heard that name dropped occasionally (it is an memorable alias, don't you think?), and decided to check out day party he played here earlier this summer along with butane. butane's set was light and fun as the sun started to go down, then adultnapper took over the darkened dance floor. i was treated to a set full of weird, deep tracks... in other words, stuff that i'm really diggin' right now.

while he sleeps is a set of three tracks adultnapper released in july. the ep starts with 'kind,' which skitters along twitchy beats and a repeated dub chord, before a few pieces of melody fit together to create a moody ambience. 'sebald' is the most sinister of the three, placing a curiously subtle, bouncy bass line alongside a similarly elastic melody and fleshing it out with some distorted cymbals and a soft underpinning of rapid-fire acoustic percussion. the title track ends the journey, reprising a dreamy atmosphere similar to 'kind' as well as a bass line like the middle track. i think 'while he sleeps' is the most earnestly emotional, particularly because the two female vocal samples are the only vocals on this ep: the first is a hollowed-out exclamation, and the other is a simple claim, "trying to tell me." besides these, the track's main feature is an alternating stuttered/sustained, semi-jazzy piano melody, combined with a few more weird synth tones. the track builds the tension up to a peak, before dropping all the parts back into place.

this is a killer ep; all three tracks carry the same dark, emotional vibe, but i can't really pick a favorite. this guy has some mixes floating around the internet that are also worth listening to. check his RA page for more info and links.

thomas melchior

i've only recently discovered thomas melchior. i first found out about his music via his who can find me ep from last year; check out the b-side, 'choir,' and dig the black hole it gets sucked into during that middle section:

the dude has made music under his own name as well as the name, melchior productions ltd. he has produced for a number of labels, including cadenza and perlon. his 2007 album no disco future for perlon made resident advisor's top albums of 2007 list, and i definitely think it's an album worth an hour of your ear-time.

i love sasu ripatti !

a couple of years ago, i came across a few albums that helped steer my head into the world of danceable electronic music. one of those was luomo's vocalcity, originally from 2000. only after some time did i realize that this was one of several aliases used by sasu ripatti. the finnish producer has recently released two new albums: one under his 'vladislav delay' moniker, as well as one as part of the moritz von oswald trio. i can't wait to check out those works, but after recently re-visiting the smooth sexy house of vocalcity, i figured it was worthy of discussion here on my blahg. vocalcity is a collection of six seductive, slow-burning tracks, each clocking in over 10 minutes. the formula is basically the same throughout: put together some skittery microhouse beats, and combine them with atmospheric synths and simple, repeated vocal lines. while the album may suffer from a bit of sameness, the quality of vocalcity should become apparent with patient listening. 'market' starts off with a slightly-stuttered but still funky, soulful rhythm before dropping in a female verse about six minutes in. the transition into the following track, 'class,' is seamless, but this time around, at the half-way point, a sinister synth melody takes control. 'synkro' is the highlight for me. deep, steady-going, with shards of dubbed-out sounds--most of which seem sourced from both male and female vocals--swirling off into space under a repetitive rhythm that runs for fourteen minutes, this track is further proof of sasu's ability to ride out a groove to maximum effectiveness.

in my opinion, 'tessio' is the weakest track, but only because it's the only track that introduces vocals before filling out the rhythm, and i find the lyrical content a bit annoying after a while; it's also bound to stop dancers, especially because the last 5 minutes or so of the previous track is given over to beatless vocal samples and swirling synths. luckily, the album ends on a strong-note with 'she-center,' which drops a few bpm's to really let the funk-inflected melancholy dig in one last time.

vocalcity is all about the rhythm and feel, with little in the way of melody. i usually object to vocals in dance music, but this album is generally good at keeping the vocals as mesmerizing as the beats they're embedded in. i think what i've always liked most about it is that it's very low-key: it's sleek and stylish, it can work as sexy background music, but it should satisfy both headphone listeners and dancers who can let themselves be taken away by the rhythm.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

pink floyd - 1968-07-27

besides my current obsession with electronic music, i've had a long love affair with the psychedelic sounds of the 60s and 70s. over the years i've collected a bunch of live recordings from a bunch of bands, and a huge share of my collection comes from pink floyd... and i'm not talking about your goddamn dark side of the moon floyd. while that album is good and historically important, and i agree that it is one of the tragedies of modern music that no video exists of a full 1970s performance of the DSOTM set, i feel that the band was way more interesting in the years before DSOTM. originally started as a white-boy blues band, songwriter/guitarist/singer syd barrett steered pink floyd toward a 'progressive pop' direction with their essential first album, piper at the gates of dawn, released in 1967 and recorded at abbey road studios, down the hall from where the beatles were finishing sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band. few recordings exist of syd playing with the band, and none that i've found are of particularly good quality (another tragedy, methinks).

while syd was 'replaced' by dave gilmour in mid-1968 due to drug problems and an increasing lack of focus, his whimsical influence was felt for a few more years, and expanded upon by gilmour's calculated guitar attack, before roger waters took the helm with DSOTM. before the relatively polished presentation of that album and its live tour, pink floyd in concert was a raw psychedelic beast, capable of steering through mind-shattering walls of sound and, moments later, descending gently back down to earth with pastoral odes and falsetto choral sections, and even some ridiculously funky, bluesy jams. i can only imagine that a pre-'72 pink floyd show was the psychedelic experience par excellence...

this is a short recording, but definitely a good one: two 15-minute long mindfuck jams with exceptional sound quality. in my opinion this is a good representation of the early live floyd sound, immediately after the syd-led 'pop' phase and before the composed, theatrical feel of DSOTM.

pink floyd - 1968-07-27 - los angeles, CA
1. interstellar overdrive
2. a saucerful of secrets

as i consolidate my live cd collection, i'll occasionally post an old recording which i think deserves to be heard. i'll upload ~224 kb/s vbr mp3's, directly from the wav files i have. since we're indebted to the tapers and sharers of these treasures, i must say: individual use only--please do NOT pass these along as lossless/wav files. lossless files are available all over the internet, particularly via torrents, if you're interested in getting this in wav quality.

enjoy! there is much more to come...

this saturday, 10.3: FREE peoplemuver party - skoozbot (m_nus/plus8/drumcode)

on to a more techno-oriented tip...

this saturday, my buddy shawn kawa and his peoplemuver peoples will be throwing a FREE party here in chicago, featuring skoozbot, a dj who has produced tracks for richie hawtin's m_nus and plus 8 labels, as well as adam beyer's drumcode imprint. given those credentials, you should expect techno of the darker, weirder variety.

just as this event will be free, so is skoozbot's recent net release, music for nighttime stalking. i literally just discovered this upon peeping the dude's myspace, and a first listen is leaving me pleasantly surprised. the second track, corpse callosum, is my favorite, with its soft yet insistent atmospheric growl. the 'living release' project gives the mp3s, flac's, and ableton source files for free, definitely something to keep an eye on for the future.

the party is free, but you gotta rsvp at the email address in the flyer to find out where it's going down. this should be a fun one at a low-key spot (so chill people only please!) that will go from 10pm until very late. support free music and free parties!

i love bruno pronsato !

bruno pronsato is one of my favorite electronic music producers, and his LP why can't we be like us was a top pick for resident advisor's 2008 albums of the year. his older material frankly doesn't impress me that much, but with his most recent handful of releases, he has really carved his own niche in the world of experimental dance music, marking his territory with off-kilter rhythms and wistful female vocals; surprising, given his previous musical life as a speed metal drummer.

bruno's most recent offer, and the first release on his new label thesongsays, is the make up the break up, a 40-minute 'single' that rambles through droney soundscapes, flocks of chirping birds, and other repeated melodic motifs, all while bruno's signature hand claps and wet percussion lazily keep the beat. perhaps the peak of the track comes with the entrance of a few snippets of lyrics by nico, accompanied by blissfully-strangled guitar feedback. nico's barely-coherent preaching, as well as a beautiful wordless female vocal, weave in and out of the mix as those bird chirps bend and curve in strange new directions. it's an epic composition that requires patience, and a close listen.

for those looking for a more immediate form of gratification, try this ep: take 1/take 2, an apparently uncredited collaboration between bruno and daze maxim released late last year on musique risquee. the concept behind both 10-minute tracks is very similar: take a few horn samples (first saxophone, then trumpet), and effect and distort them almost beyond recognition, then submerge them in a sexy stew of acoustic percussion, those hand-claps, and a couple of female vocals intoning "soy tu mariposa" (i think). the results, on both tracks, are ass-shakingly good.

visit his resident advisor page for more information, live dates, and an intriguing interview on the eve of his album release last year. originally from america, bruno now works out of berlin and hops around the world with his live set. i chilled briefly with him after his appearance at sonotheque here in chicago a few weeks ago. the scene was rather debaucherous, but bruno told me his next release will be entitled lovers do/lovers don't. needless to say, i can't wait to hear more out of this talented producer.

cold weather - dislike!

chicago is great during the summertime but its winters get bitterly cold, and it looks like the cold weather may have set in today for good... i sure hope not. anyway, i'll post some music links soon, but until then my buddy posted this track to my facebook wall. that cheesy horn melody warms my heart just a bit... now i'm gonna go take a steaming hot shower and mourn the death of summer. CHEERS!

new mnml ssg mix - nuel

one of my favorite music blahgz is mnml ssgs. those guys have great taste when it comes to the deeper realms of electronic dance music, both in their own recommendations as well as the mix series. i'll occasionally link to stuff on their website that i find particularly good.

the most recent mnml ssg mix is from nuel, a dj from italy whom i had never heard of before listening to this, an hour of great, atmospheric, moody beats... have at it!

introductory bla bla

i am from chicago and i love music, among other things. i only listen to good music and i only go to cool parties.

enjoy the blahg!