Thursday, March 31, 2011

end: march, begin: april

i hope everyone has been enjoying tom bonaty's mix! something very big is coming up as we launch into the month of april... but until then, here's some stuff that brings pleasure to smilecoldanatomy's ears and eyes:

TIN MAN is LOST IN LA new track by tin man? new, free, 320mp3, 10-minute-long track by tin man? yes! xlr8r is hosting a free download of 'lost in LA', a wondrous piano jam fleshed out with acoustic percussion and handclaps, brewed quite nicely with a dreamy vocal narrative and discreet acid lines. the track is from tin man's newest album perfume, which as RA has reported should be released (in 2xLP) at some point very soon... and look! tin man has just contributed a mix to the little white earbuds series, do it to it!

JUNO PLUS TALKS DARK TECHNO, TALKS WITH JAMES RUSKIN always nice to see another perspective on the more abstract strands of techno that have gotten attention lately (especially on this blog) - richard brophy considers lucy's new album and the recent ostgut ton compilation and their use of field recordings while discussing techno experimentation. also on juno plus, blueprint boss james ruskin talks about his many collaborations, including his ongoing O/V/R project with regis.

ROBERT HENKE DISCUSSES ABLETON, GEAR, SURROUND SOUND the mind behind monolake chats with the passionweiss magazine about his role in the development of the venerable ableton music production software, as well as his self-designed monodeck controller hardware. he also talks about how he does live surround sound... speaking of which, monolake will be playing a live surround set along with detroit's echospace duo at smartbar saturday april 23! it's part of the avant_mutek weekend in chicago... check out the story on RA.

ACONITO 006LTD last but most definitely not least, a new collaborative release on aconito records, the achromorphe, is scheduled for release next week. nax_acid and his brother ink on one side, obtane and claudio prc together on the flip... watch the preview video here on youtube, and click on that picture if you want to see the hand-writing on each sleeve. 250 copies, vinyl only, highly mechanized, coming this monday, april 4! more info here at the aconito blog.

that's all for now. oh, i've also started the anatomy twitter, under the name patty anatomy, for those looking for more techno-related social media. and stay tuned! more exciting news (the least exciting of which is my april chart) will be coming very soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

tom bonaty - fear remains [anatomy 10]

it is time for the 10th anatomy, and i could not be more pleased to host one of the minds behind one of the deepest techno labels in the world. please welcome, from prologue music: tom bonaty!

if you're not familiar with prologue yet, check out the label's discogs page and click around to find some samples. since late 2008, the label has been diving into "the hazy shade of techno", and releasing a consistent stream of deep, modernized sounds from a growing family of producers, both young and old. i discovered prologue in mid-2009, and long-time readers should be aware of my appreciation for this sound; several of the label's producers have contributed to the anatomy mix series, with a few more slated to appear in the future. but for now, let's talk with tom:

Hi Tom! Prologue was launched in late 2008; the label is now in its third year of operation, with a catalog of more than twenty releases (vinyl and digital). How have things changed - or have they not changed - as the label has expanded?
3 years in December 2011 yes :-). Basically from your philosophy nothing have changed since Prologue is established end of 2008. We still have our big passion for techno music and we try to make every release unique and as best as we can. Of course some things changed. I think we go back now 3 years and I would say we are in the meantime very good friends and a global label family. This is a very positive aspect. And we are more established in all what we do and recognized as in innovative imprint in the scene. Further the people outside feel that we have a big passion for the music and we get a lot of positive feedback about our releases and work. This support is really such a great feeling. And recently we extend our artist profile with Mike Parker, Adam X and Terrence Fixmer, which is also a little change compared to the beginning. Finally we build up our own booking agency and we got Alexandra as our booking agency leader. So it seems we growing in a good sense in some directions :-) In all, I am personally totally happy about the development and situation of Prologue at the moment.

If you had to choose your three all-time favorite records or pieces of music, what would they be and why?
OK this is a real difficult question. I can't mention three 12" milestones... I have two much after 20 years collecting vinyl. I think about CD's like LFO Frequencies or Kraftwerk which was also extremely important to me to mention but I will try to give you some CD;s which was for me a new dimension in that particular time.

I want to mention two techno albums. I would say these are the two first techno album CD's I bought and they are both extremely important to me. Both was released on Sven Väth's label Harthouse 1993.

First is Hardfloor - TB Resuscitation, the first Album on Harthouse as well. This CD is for me still today the quintessence of Acid. One of the best CD's ever and every serious techno head should have this in his collection. For me one of the most important milestones in techno and acid. Deepest acid in his archetype.

Second is SpiceLab (Oliver Lieb). Just 4 tracks on this CD but every track is an unbelievably long journey over 15 minutes. Today you must pitch it down little bit but basically there are so much different elements of electronic music (trance, acid, ambient and techno) combined and this album is a fantastic journey overall. By the way, Oliver Lieb mastered the first 12" of Prologue and we were pretty proud to met him personally.

Third CD is a mix CD which is still for me the best mix CD ever: Richie Hawtin & John Acquaviva - X-Mix-3 - Enter: Digital Reality! All tracks were unbelievable and at this time (1994) it was miles away from the rest of the world - from a mixing perspective and from the selection of the tracks. I have this CD 2 times and also the vinyl release which was a 3x12" release. The same is valid like on Hardfloor. Every who listens to techno should try to have it in the collection. Some of the tracks was recently re-released. That say all about timeless music. The youtube link below shows you the first complete part of the mix. Remember 1994! And still so much deepness and feelings!

Last CD is a mix CD as well and pretty unknown and rare I guess. It's not techno, it's Austrian easy listening. Klangwirkstoff Scheibosan & eMU - Black Coffee Chapter 2: Potpouri Fusique. The whole Black Coffee series is very good but number 2 is my choice in this case. All are mixed by Scheibosan, an Austrian DJ which is strongly connected to the complete G-Stone and Kruder and Dorfmeister community. Its really a fantastic series and fantastic music for your mind beyond electronic music. Pretty hard to give you a impression of this CD but I found some tracks on youtube just to get a impression. If you have chance to get a CD from this, buy it...

To those readers and listeners who might not yet be familiar with the Prologue sound, which release do you think would be the best introduction?

Probably I am not the right person for this question. Every Prologue is for me an introduction to our label and every release has its own Prologue character. For example listening to Milton Bradley's EP is a completely different experience compared to Dino Sabatini Daughter Of Phorcys/Recall E.P, Lucy's Kalachackra or Claudio's Clear Depths concept. In the end there was a reason to release all these fantastic EP's on our label and all are a kind of introduction to Prologue with the right touch of our artists' own individually. If this question rise up with some readers, I would recommend the complete catalogue, and listening to our podcasts...

When you are not working on Prologue projects, what are you listening to these days? Outside of the Prologue collective of artists, are there any artists or labels in particular who excite you right now?
I am listening to children CD's with my two kids. :-) Beyond label and regular work my kids need some attention as well and I am enjoy this. But from a music perspective still one CD is from James Brown Greatest Hits and one of the Public Enemy albums are in my CD changer in the car. SAY IT LIKE IT REALLY IS... To be honest one slogan on Prologue comes from here. Powerful like real techno... Michael (my partner) and I are still massive Hip hop fans and I am a massive fan of Public Enemy. Coming to the second question I would say the usual suspects like Sandwell, Ostgut, Blueprint, Aquaplano, Time 2 Express just to mention a few and I always try to find pearls on small unknown labels. Further off course I am following Stroboscopic Artefacts. We have a very close relationship to Stroboscopic Artefacts and me and Lucy talking a lot about daily label work, problems, common ideas and we always try to help each other.

What is next for you and Prologue? Can you share with us some plans for the label in 2011?
Yes sure... We have several finished projects and a couple are in progress. Closest milestone is Iori's first vinyl release called Lapis EP very soon. We also plan a remix release with this EP and you will find some really nice names there, but the release date for the remixes EP is not fixed. Further we have a new digital EP with a new project called Not from Earth coming out in April. Not really new names behind this project with Gianluca Meloni from Modern Heads except Carlo Alfano... I am sure we will see some more stuff on Prologue from this duo. Then we will have a new EP from Donato Dozzy together with Neel. Also Dino Sabatini comes out with a new EP which is nearly finished. Still in production is a new Cio D'or considered this year as well and Cassegrain as a new member will come up with a new EP before summer. Also Mike Parker, Terrence Fixmer and Giorgio Gigli is working on new separate EP's. And I have another EP with Donato Dozzy and Giorgio Gigli finished and I am waiting also here for a final remix. This is our 12" plan and this looks very busy to me. Beyond that 12" plan there are also some albums and a another project in progress but before I have it on my disk I can not talk about more details.

And I will not promise to much due to my limited time situation but we thinking to start with a second label this year. The decision is already passed in my head and its more as a reflect. The first EP is almost finished and fixed and signed... we just need the time and power to start.

Finally tell us about your mix, Fear Remains.
With this mix my thoughts were really more in Japan than on the mix. Even I was not sure if I wanted to do a podcast at this time. All these homeless children without parents makes me so sad and the complete situation is uncontrollable so far, as we can see this from Europe. This was the reason to call this mix Fear remains. I will not say this mix shows directly my feelings but the selection of some tracks was surely influenced by this event. For example i used this very very old track from Astral Pilot - Electro Acupuncture released in 1995 called 'The Day After'. The track is very sad in my opinion and I did not even listen to this track 10 years ago. But in this case it came to my head suddenly to use this. Beyond these thoughts, there are also some new demo tracks in, therefore I will not provide a complete tracklist. Off course if somebody is interested on a track ID we are reachable over email and facebook.

In the end we (artists and label) want to say thank you to all who support us and help us to keep our vision of Prologue alive. And also thanks to you Brian for the opportunity to share this podcast on your wonderful blog and your support. Take care all...

like tom said, no tracklist; what you get is about 90 minutes in tom's world, starting with a gloomy, emotional ambient introduction. the set slowly turns towards deep-black techno, and midway through we march triumphantly through the magnetic field of a classic prologue track before pushing into the ringing bass of a more recent release on the label...

huge thanks to tom for sharing his thoughts and his sounds from the past, present and future on smilecoldanatomy. i'm a big fan of what prologue has done, and what the label continues to do, and with this anatomy project entering its second year of existence, i'm happy he wanted to be the 10th contributor to this mix series. there is more to come on this blog very soon, but until then, thanks to those who tune in and support this blog's mission... enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

alan backdrop - anecumene [anatomy 09]

i'm very, very happy to celebrate the one-year anniversary of this blog's mix series by introducing the ninth anatomy... anecumene: three hours of deep techno travel from italy's alan backdrop!

anatomy 09 alan backdrop
(click on image to enhance)

in a rare twist of roles for this blog, it was alan backdrop - casually known as alessio - who found me first. fortunately, it turns out that alessio is a very nice guy, and a great selector: he's got what sounds like quite an enviable vinyl collection along with the ability to put records together and create intriguing adventures... so i posed to him the challenge to construct a long, deeeeep mix to share on smilecoldanatomy, and i certainly think he succeeded with this set. let's let alessio introduce himself:

It's a great pleasure for me to take part in this gorgeous forum about electronic music.

I was born and I'm living in Veneto in the north Italy, a region with a massive presence of water: rivers, small streams, the sea and the lagoon. Fortunately there are many places where you still can listen to the sweet song of nature, where you can take a time to pause and ponder, marveling at the magic in which we are immersed and we are part.

On the contrary it is sufficient to move just a few kilometers to find large industrial areas where the pace is hectic and the noise is deafening, the fumes make gray atmosphere and tarnished mind. It's full of old rusted and decayed plants painted by the time, divided by narrow streets with asphalt that looks almost white and by rails where the freight trains move slowly. They seem to belong to another time.

These contradictory aspects have always fascinated me. The life that is present in every element of nature and the absence of life that we find in all that man builds. I especially love to see places where there is the presence of both elements, where the nature takes over on the abandoned buildings and feel like they are slowly enveloped and swallowed up by life.

All this is total inspiration for me!

I am also very inspired by the space, by the extraterrestrial and by the mystery that hides it.
Naively, I often imagine that there are other planets with a nature similar to ours (especially big and strange forests), but that it could appear dark and menacing to us.

My selection of electronic music is dictated by these factors. My research is focused on songs that make me mentally travel and that make me imagine to the natural elements, terrestrial or not.

In this mix I tried to bring my imagination to the reality. An atmospheric journey that starts slowly with ambient/drone music and fades into a frantic techno gear. It evolves constantly, scoring several moments of wonder, suspense, fear, peace, frenzy and mystery. I hope that listeners can feel strong emotions, equal or different from mine.

I warmly thank all the artists who composed the music contained here for giving me the opportunity to travel and to express myself through it. And a BIG thank you to Brian for giving me this space and the opportunity to share my work with other enthusiasts.


alan backdrop - anecumene [anatomy 09] (download via dropbox)

no tracklist, but we can tell you that aside from a few ambient tracks (sadly never pressed to vinyl), alessio made this mix almost entirely from vinyl records... at three hours, and in mp3@256, this mix weighs in at 340mb [edit: this means it's too big for the new player], but those who are patient should find that it is definitely worth the download.

to learn more about alan backdrop, go to his homepage. and for more mixes, as well as his own ambient creations, check out his page. thanks to alessio for sharing his story about where he comes from as an artist, and big thanks to him for creating this truly excellent set of long, tripping techno. this helps commemorate a year of mixes here at smilecoldanatomy, so please... enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

news! mixes!

time for some news and updates about things that matter in the world of smilecoldanatomy...

ANATOMY MIXERS IN ACTION i'll try to post regular updates on events and things happening with the awesome folks who have contributed mixes to this site. i had already mentioned the upcoming mini-techno-market aconito/prologue party with nax_acid and giorgio gigli coming up in a few weeks, but before then - actually tonight/saturday march 12th - giorgio teams up with obtane for a zooloft showcase in rome, more info here... you can maybe consider it a celebration of their brand new record. and later this month, claudio prc plays a local basstation party also featuring ellen allien; listen to a mix claudio made for the occasion here. meanwhile, the forward strategy group guys just put out another perc trax record, and last but certainly not least, nax_acid preps a collaborative record with ink, obtane, and claudio prc, to be released next month.

SHACKLETON AND BEN KLOCK INTERVIEWS experimental/whatever producer shackleton talks with the quietus about, among other things, his live set and his focus on quality control. meanwhile, little white earbuds interviews ben klock about how he came to berghain and ostgut, and gets his perspective on the culture behind the music.

NEW ALBUMS FROM BRUNO PRONSATO AND KATE SIMKO exciting news on the house-ier side of this writer's tastes. bruno prepares lovers do, a work that has been in progress for two years, and one that will be released in late may, on the eve of movement weekend in detroit... check out this ibiza voice interview with bruno and his girlfriend ninca leece; looks like a public lover album is in the works as well. meanwhile, chicago's own kate simko gets ready for lights out, her first solo full-length album, which will be released in may as well. tonight in the windy city, she'll celebrate the release of the album's first single at darkroom; details here.

... and, yes, finally, more recommended mixes!

if you are in the mood for some deadly techno funk, try out this set, tcdp026 by dead sound. i guess this dude does stuff for perc trax... makes sense: this strays nicely away from strict 4/4 to incorporate tons of punchy, syncopated beats. more info here.

hey! some fresh dasha rush jams: lada, a live collaboration with lars hemmerling. lean, stripped-back percussion, swirling melodies, and barely-controlled blasts of noise, with a raw improvised feel... hell yeah!

if you're still reeling from obtane's terrordrome mix, try out another fresh mix (direct download), this time one full of rhythmic techno (and a few record skips, unfortunately). an italian interview (which i can't understand) accompanies this mix for the soundwall music website. on the italian tip, check out another mix of deep dark stuff from claudio prc, fwd0121.

and a new mix from prologue boss tom bonaty for the smoke machine podcast. it weaves together a bunch of new stuff, including some new deep tracks from prologue, and brings it all home with plastikman's 'marbles'... very nice.

finally, check out this mix by dj kiddo - frozen molecules (winter 2010). my friend and local chicago dj has great taste in techno sounds, so give it a try!

i think that's all for now. oh also: i'll be making my debut on the friendly funktion ones of smartbar in may (the weekend before movement in detroit), doing a 90-minute opening set in front of my fellow local qbot as we support berghain dj's ben klock and ryan elliott! check out the RA event page here, and why not become a fan of my dj page as well. also, i should be dj'ing on qbot's wluw radio spot the monday of that week.

okay, have a good weekend, and come back in one piece in a few days when i'll be sharing the next anatomy mix!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

obtane - terrordrome [anatomy 08]

the 8th anatomy comes from the other half of the zooloft duo, obtane!

i discovered obtane's music through a prologue sampler EP in 2009 (discussed here)... his dark, noisy, intense techno has been released via synewave, sonic groove, and stroboscopic artefacts, but his recent focus has been his own zooloft imprint, which he operates with giorgio gigli. obtane's dcast mix from a few months ago is an excellent story of rhythms from techno's future, but like giorgio's anatomy mix, obtane has even more abstract ideas in mind for his mix here, which he has named terrordrome... but more on that later. first, some discussion:

Hello, Obtane! Tell us a bit about yourself. What musicians have made the biggest impact on you? What made you want to create your own music?
Hello Brian! I'm from Italy, I was raised in a little harbour city on the Ligurian Sea, that's the north-western part. Brian Eno, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, for sure, made the biggest impact on me. Also, some things from Jean Michel Jarre (Equinoxe and Oxygene). Later I felt a huge influence from industrial bands like Throbbing Gristle and Clock DVA. Minor influences also from EBM bands like DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses. From the Italian scene, the only band that totally captured my attention were Goblin.

I first started listening and playing records when I was 14, and after 10 years (almost always at my home), I thought I learned something so I tried to build my own first track. The result wasn't really bad, at all.

You've described your music as 'cinematic' and 'sci-fi'... what are your favorite films? How have they inspired you as an artist?
Yes, I love sci-fi and horror movies. My favourite movies ever are Metropolis, Blade Runner, The Omega Man, Deep Red and The Omen (the original one from 1976). But I'm also a big fan of so-called violent cinema. My preferences here are for Kubrick and Abel Ferrara. Also big fan of fucking weird movies and Alejandro Jodorowsky (Santa Sangre) is the master, in my opinion. I also love Pasolini films (Uccellacci e Uccellini), Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni...

When you are in the mood for non-electronic music, what do you listen to?
I generally listen to late 1970 disco, 80's funky, oldschool electro. As you see my preferences are still in the electronic side. I usually need synths, haha... Also, classical music, Schonberg and Stravinsky, and some Italian experimental music like Luigi Nono.

Tell me about Zooloft. How did it start, and where did that name come from? How is Zooloft different from the other labels you have produced for?
The name Zooloft is derived from the antidepressive Zoloft and the child isn't random since children have the most humour and the best mood. Zooloft initially started as a platform for my productions. After meeting Giorgio Gigli, I wanted him in my label as half-part. We totally changed the Zooloft design and concept to make something unique. Everything is done with precision and passion, every release that comes out is like a piece of heart from Giorgio Gigli and Obtane. Zooloft has a romantic but dystopian philosophy and it's focused on the true underground spirit of techno music. Every record tells a story and comes with a special packaging. This union between design and music is the main engine of Zooloft. Our policy could be: quality, not quantity. And here the choice is doing limited edition vinyls.

Aside from your collaborators, do you have a specific philosophy of music?
What captures my attention is dark sounds, tight, mechanical rhythms, and dystopian ideas. As I have said before, I'm very inspired by artists like Surgeon, Regis, Adam X, Function and Marcel Dettmann. I like the industrial vein in techno music and, for sure, one of my favourite synthesis is FM.

Every track of mine is constructed thinking of visions, scenarios. I can't imagine my music without a vision. When I do a track I think what I want to explain first, not the opposite. A concept, an idea behind it. Like a short movie, every sound is like a frame.

Some of your fellow Italian producers have also contributed mixes for smilecoldanatomy, and many of you have collaborated together somehow. Do you sense a unified approach to these sounds coming from the Italian underground?
Yes, definitely. I like this breed of new Italian artists and that's why I'm still in Italy. I could move outside my nation but I wanna see what will happen first. Maybe something very important is moving around... Apart from the collaboration with Giorgio Gigli, I recently did a track with Claudio PRC for Aconito Records. He's very talented and I was really satisfied of the result. I'd like to produce some tracks also with Dino Sabatini in future, his musical tastes are very close to mine.

If you had to choose your favorite records or pieces of music, what would they be, and why?
I like to play long tracks so my choices go to 2-tracker EP's. A perfect track for myself would be like Face of Smoke by Peter Van Hoesen: it's solid, powerful, dark and vengeful.
Every track I select tends to be 'sinister'. As sentimental and emotional favorites, I can tell the 154 album on Delsin. It's very touching, a true masterpiece. As tearjerkers I also have to mention the Forever Delayed album on Islands & Islets. Then the Philip Jeck album An Ark For The Listener.

Zooloft's output has been primarily through vinyl, but digital versions have been released when the records sell out... and I always like to ask artists: what do you think of the vinyl/digital debate?
I think releasing the digital version when the vinyl sells out is a good idea. I'm not a big fan of digital but it can be good if you make your digital music available on good shops like Boomkat. Of course, if you spread your releases on every mp3 store of the planet... Your music get confused, there's no target anymore, your music is sold together house and dance music: Beatport is a total mess. Too many labels, too many genres, like a record supermarket. That's a real catastrophe.

Are there any producers or labels that you are watching closely in 2011? What is the last record or track you bought?
I'm ever more into Sandwell District, I love what they're doing. But there's no a label I'm following with precise interest. I like what I hear at the moment. Some Ostgut records are great and some not for me. I bought the Einoma EP on Shipwrec, then an acidic techno vinyl named Titrology, then The Great Traitor (with Monolake remix) and the latest Oscar Mulero album.

What are you doing in 2011? I know you have a few releases coming up soon, would you like to elaborate on your plans for this year?
After the Obtane/Claudio PRC track on Aconito Records, I have a remix coming on Stroboscopic Artefacts, a track for a V.A. on a new Italian label, an Obtane/Giorgio Gigli EP on KRD Music, the new Sonic Groove EP coming in September, then I'll work on the Zooloft album with Giorgio. In the meantime, continuing with Zooloft releases. Then there will be a special collector item coming on Zooloft for Christmas 2011, but you have to be good ;)

Finally, tell us about Terrordrome.
I tried to take the thrilling perspective of some electronic tracks. I think the mood is very frightening and sinister. I was inspired by a Dario Argento movie where the character is getting stalked by a strange man. I think the music speaks itself. I alternated dark soundscapes with more rhythmic tracks. Some moments are also very noisy. Other moments are more romantic...

okay! and now, for a 100-minute walk through obtane's dark, dramatic, musical cityscape...

thanks again to obtane. i really appreciate the thought that went into this set of sounds, as well as his enthusiasm in sharing his story. to keep track of the man, check out his RA page, as well as the zooloft homepage and blog. the next zooloft record comes out in a few weeks, followed by his collaboration on aconito, to be released next month; i highly recommend checking out both. until then, enjoy this mix... terrordrome!