Tuesday, December 31, 2013

smilecoldanatomy's top 10 of '13

it's time for me to go on about my top album picks from the year that was. compared to my music pursuits in 2012, i spent much of the past twelve months listening to more experimental and less techno and house-focused LPs. maybe in 2014, the pendulum will swing back the other way. but for now, here's my top 10 of '13.

10. tim hecker - virgins
kranky (discogs)
i'm not sure i like this one as much as other stuff i've heard from tim hecker (like ravedeath, 1972). but there's enough powerful pieces to warrant a serious listen or three, like the "virginal" and "stigmata" tracks. and then there's "black refraction," its plaintive piano loops slowly spreading thin and disintegrating as time winds down - certainly my pick of the bunch, and overall one of my favorite tracks from 2013.

9. ulwhednar - LP
northern electronics (discogs)
ulwhednar is the duo of abdulla rashim (who made anatomy 20 in late 2012) and varg, two swedish artists and friends who've collaborated on records put out this year through the former's imprint northern electronics. this LP sees abdulla rashim's tendencies towards horizontal rhythms merged with varg's fondness for icy ambient moods, and the result is a set of highly pressurized, percussive techno tracks like "dömd till elden" to go with some blurry-eyed beatless sections, my favorite of which is the shimmering psychedelia of last track "trä och vatten." tune in and try it out with a full stream over at the label's bandcamp page.

8. TM404 - TM404
kontra-musik (discogs)
at the beginning of the year, veteran producer andreas tilliander linked up with kontra-musik to release a self-titled LP as TM404, created 'only' with a pile of roland hardware (drum machines and synths). the result: a collection of slowly simmering acid soundscapes destined for places away from the dancefloor. there's "202/303/303/303/606/606"'s deep, narcotic groove; the anxious echo-laden melodies of "202/202/303/303/606;" and the dubwise "303/303/303/303/808" - all highlights on an album that sees tilliander putting his machines to good work.

7. murcof & philippe petit - first chapter
aagoo / REV. laboratories (discogs)
a strangely addictive album from this duo - it just needs a little space to spread out. "the call of circé," which at twenty minutes in length might be the most fascinating long-form work i've heard in 2013, is laced with sparkling melodic curlicues, quivering choral odes and light ethereal tones. "pegasus" is a six-minute experimental synergy of folk and world music, and "the summoning of the kraken" finishes off the three-track LP with close to thirteen minutes of unsettled abstractions. if you're up for the trip, you can stream first chapter in full over at petit's bandcamp page.

6. roly porter - life cycle of a massive star
subtext (discogs)
with life cycle of a massive star, former vex'd member roly porter continues to refine his intense and cinematic production style. working together elements of modern classical, noise, ambient and drone, and here taking inspiration from from cosmic cycles of life and death, he offers up a fine follow-up to his first solo album, 2011's aftertime. there's generally a keen appreciation for space and balance here - raw physical force accompanied by graceful emotional movement - though at times it seems just a little bit off, as if the artist's best is still yet to come. still, a captivating album worthy of being heard from front to back.

5. conforce - kinetic image
delsin (discogs)
this is something of a late surprise, in part because previously i wasn't a huge fan of conforce. here, we have a colorful collection of smooth, spacious, syncopated techno. "spaciotemporal" and "temporary reversals" are among my favorites, the former filled with airy melancholy, the latter with high-tech voodoo vibes, while "optimum pace" near the end works out a range of reverb-heavy 303 bellows at 90bpm. apparently, conforce "wanted to make moving images and art that evolve and unfold like passing landscapes" - that's a good way to describe these meticulously designed tracks, which should appeal to those seeking techno of a more understated sort. for me, kinetic image was one of the genre's better LPs in 2013.

4. stave - reform
flingco sound system (discogs)
i first found stave on the lineup of a demdike stare show here in chicago, back in august, and i'm glad i arrived early to see him play. (fun show!) stave is chicago artist jonathan krohn. he appeared alongside fellow local karl meier under the name talker on the recent downwards label compilation, and reform marked his production debut as stave. his style: abstract, industrial techno, or something close to that, i guess. whatever you call it, his vision is clear and compelling. "tower 9," with its long blasts of noise and stuttered barks, is an obvious highlight, while "gun control" is squeezed through mind-bending, interlocking rhythmic machinery. "disc1" is relatively spacious and subdued, yet still tense, and punctuated somewhere in the middle by a few delightfully unhinged plucks on a guitar. overall, an excellent album, and an artist to look out for. you can try this one out in full at the label's bandcamp page - do it to it!

3. miles - faint hearted
modern love (discogs)
faint hearted is miles whittaker's first solo album under his own name, though he's had plenty of experience with the full-length format by way of other projects - perhaps most notably, his spooky machinations with sean canty as demdike stare. as you might expect, this album does plenty of blurring between genres but it manages to feel, from front to back, quite cohesive. from first track "lebensform"'s dive-bombing attack, through the hallucinatory collage of minor-key piano loops and noir-ish swagger in "rejoice" later on, to the bittersweet sci-fi outro of "loran dreams," faint hearted is a fine addition to whittaker's catalog. seem interesting? check out the whole thing at the modern love soundcloud page.

2. my bloody valentine - m b v
mbv records (discogs)
oh, i love my bloody valentine. the walls of fuzzy guitars grinding in and out of focus, those barely decipherable, perfectly whatever lyrics... i don't think i've written about them here but i often can't get enough of kevin shields and company; i still listen to their last album, 1991's loveless, pretty regularly (it's been one of my go-to guitar-centric albums in recent years as i've turned towards more and more electronic music). and for me, they hit the spot with m b v, their first LP in 22 years. not much has changed, though i'd offer that in comparison to the group's prior work, this one is especially dense, filled with even more tense yet strangely comforting texture and a ton of fine detail. prime examples: "if i am" - the middle of that one has this beguiling sequence of bubbling tones that float about like aquatic echoes - and the thrilling last track "wonder 2," with all its hyperactive drumming down low, roller-coaster flanging, clever key changes and aching-heart harmonics. it's not perfect, there's a dud or two ("new you" seems out of place to me), but overall i think m b v is a fantastic album. now, would it be too silly to hope this isn't the last we've heard from my bloody valentine?

1. mika vainio - kilo
blast first petite (discogs)
after much deliberation - and a lot of thinking as to whether i should instead give the #1 spot to m b v - i just couldn't resist this pick. with dozens of album credits to his name, mika vainio, aka Ø and formerly of pan sonic, continued to dish out the goods in 2013, both as a collaborator (with joachim nordwall and stephen o'malley) and as a solo producer. kilo is his latest LP crafted alone under his own name, and it's more rooted in rhythm, more pan sonic-esque, than much of his recent productions. (the fact that it came out on blast first petite, home to all of pan sonic's later albums, further suggests a comparison with that currently defunct outfit.) here, apparently inspired by the shipping industry, vainio offers up nearly an hour of dark, pulsing noise that sounds like it could have come from nobody else but him. rough and heavy percussion, rhythmic snaps of electrical current, surging waves of distortion, and cavernous atmospherics - kilo is a supremely immersive experience, and as it winds down, the final gasps of last track "weight" never fail to send a chill down my spine. this is an essential listen, i say, for fans and newcomers alike. oh, and vainio will return as Ø for a new album called konstellaatio in early 2014 - i'm eagerly anticipating that one.

... and then, in a few days i'll post about more sounds that grabbed my ears in 2013, including some of my other favorite releases and mixes/podcasts. happy new year or whatever!

Friday, December 13, 2013

friday funk: cio d'or!

it's friday, and it's almost time... for cio d'or to make her chicago debut!

cio will be coming to town tomorrow to play smart bar, and i am quite giddy with anticipation. in the wide world of techno (and electronic music in general), cio is one of my absolute favorite artists. she's also very warm and inspiring on a personal level; we had a nice long chat when i met her in detroit during movement festival a few years ago. she does not play in the US very often, and in 2014 she'll be focusing on her own music, and much less on touring. so, for those in or close to chicago who crave deep, hypnotic abstract techno, this one is not to be missed! (more details over at the facebook event page.)

to help get ready for tomorrow night, here's a selection of discogs links and youtube players with some of cio's music. i've started with two tracks from her 2009 LP for prologue, die faser - "goldbrokat", perhaps the album's most well-known track, along with my personal favorite "brokat".

cio d'or - goldbrokat

cio d'or - brokat

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

movement 2014: first lineup announcement (terrence dixon, adam x, zeitgeber, etc)

behold, the first group of artists announced to play movement festival in detroit next year, saturday may 24th - monday may 26th. (official website)

for my eyes this overall list looks solid but certainly not spectacular. detroit, as usual, is well represented, with my picks from that group currently being jeff mills, mike huckaby and terrence dixon - who, by the way, has a new album coming out soon. some other artists that stand out for me: adam x playing live, metro area also playing live, donor, alstadt echo who runs the nice techno-oriented dub monitor website, and of course zeitgeber, aka lucy (he, too, has a new album in the works) and speedy j, which would seem to make up for lucy's cancelled appearance last year, when he was quite oddly booked between steffi and nina kraviz.

i, however yearn for more rare bookings, especially in terms of international techno, (proper) deep house, and experimental stuff, as well as some chicago talent. but hey, that's me! at least i hardly see anything edm-y. there should be plenty more artists to be announced, and we'll have to wait, probably a few more months at least, to see what's up with the weekend's off-festival party offerings. oh, and i'll likely be making my return to the festival after missing out in 2013. fingers crossed...

intriguingly, an earlier promoter of movement festival, back when it was called DEMF, appears to returning with a festival, using that name, over independence day weekend, july 4th 2014. juan atkins has been announced as the artist director. interesting stuff, and something else to look out for during next year's festival season. (official website)

and here's another summertime festival variable, only worth noting because it would likely attract music and people i'd rather not be around: EDC joliet - formally known as EDC chicago in 2013 though it was not located in the city - is "not likely to return" in 2014. oh well.

Monday, December 2, 2013

monday moods: live jams from polar inertia and convextion

it's 630 pm on a monday as i write this, and the sun has been down already for about two hours. hooray for winter? anyway, the evening's menu calls for some distinctly dark, atmospheric techno - when doesn't it? - so if you're in the mood, here are two live sets i've been enjoying a lot recently.

polar inertia - smoke machine podcast 074 first, a mysterious outfit from france, polar inertia. i've written a few reviews over at RA covering their music, which has been released sparingly over the past two years or so. they have a very cool, cinematic approach particularly noticeable on their two solo EPs for DEMENT3D, which link together deep tripping techno cuts with spoken-word/ambient passages that tell a strange sci-fi story. they've a few other production credits to their name but at this point, i'm sure i'm not alone in hoping for another proper EP. at the beginning of the year they turned in this rare podcast for smoke machine, a forty-minute live recording taken from a set that happened, apparently, somewhere around paris. mind-bending stuff, and the last section would seem to give a clue as to where they might go with their next release, whenever it might come out.

convextion at deep motions, october 2013, nijmegen switching to something newer... i've only mentioned convextion once or twice here, and it's time that changed. convextion, aka ERP (real name gerard hanson) has been a personal favorite for years, ever since i discovered his excellent self-titled LP. hailing from texas, he specializes in electro and techno sounds that are sleek, melodic, futuristic, and so gorgeous they almost hurt. there's a good amount of convextion recordings floating around, but his sets are so fresh and dynamic, i'd say you can never have enough of them. this one is relatively recent, coming from a deep motions party in nijmegen, the netherlands back in october, and weighs in at a hefty 91 minutes. (thanks to them for sharing it!)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

aphex twin - flim

quick post for now, turning away from last week's comments about what maceo plex did to aphex twin's "polynomial-c", and going to a happy place with a sentimental favorite...

"flim", from the 1997 aphex twin EP/mini-album come to daddy, was one of those tracks that helped launch me, as a serious and soon-obsessed listener, into the world of electronic music. years ago, i first tried producing with computer programs like reason and ableton; i only ever 'finished' a few tracks, and they were mostly influenced by this. here it is via youtube, with a buncha photos of cloudy skies. still perfect:

Friday, November 22, 2013

NOT GOOD: aphex twin - "polynomial c" - maceo plex edit

over the years i've tried to keep my writing here as positive as possible, because generally, i'd rather discuss stuff i like, not stuff i don't like. but that doesn't mean i'm not often stumbling into something that leaves me unimpressed or worse. so, i've decided to start a new and probably infrequent series of blog posts under the title NOT GOOD, in order to express my opinions against some of those things.

my first order of business concerns a new and baffling attempt to re-contextualize a classic piece of electronic music: aphex twin's "polynomial-c". first put out on R&S in 1992, it is a triumph of a track that defies easy classification. part breakbeat, part techno, whatever... indulge in all its glory below.

yesterday, maceo plex - aka maetrik; real name eric estornel - uploaded a track to soundcloud. its precise name is Aphex Twin "Polynomial C" Maceo Plex edit and you can stream and download it here [update - youtube link]. fast-paced and brilliantly bombastic in its original form, this take on "polynomial-c" is slowed down considerably, its nearly unhinged rhythms chained to a dry-hump tech-house groove with no features worthy of description. why, exactly, was this necessary?

according to a text accompanying the track, it was designed for dj use in "a modern techno set". i have a different way of defining "modern techno" but that's beside the point. this is what i hear: something unique reduced to something that's mostly generic; something timeless (or at least close to it, damnit) twisted to fit a certain perception of what sounds good now. and of course, putting your name on it and making it free to download brings to mind those ethical and legal questions (admittedly hard to answer) regarding the re-purposing of someone else's commercially available music.

probably anticipating criticism, the artist himself appears to have set his defense, saying in the text with the track: "dear haters, this is not a remix, it's an edit". fair enough, but it is a Maceo Plex edit, ensuring proper attribution for what sounds to me like one big, awful, unnecessary joke. there's a reason i've never before mentioned maceo plex on smilecoldanatomy. i just don't like his music. but this thing needs to be called what it is: rubbish!

[update - it looks like maceo plex has removed the track from his soundcloud page, but it can still be found on youtube.]

Monday, November 11, 2013

monday moods: rod modell - cloud over

hello again! yes i'm still around, i've just been a bit distracted. anyway, here's another edition of monday moods.

i had nice things to say about rod modell's album incense & black light four years ago, when smilecoldanatomy was in its infancy, and since then it's never been far from my speakers. this track, "cloud over", has become a personal favorite over the years - it's so warm, so cozy, so perfectly understated. at least, it's a great soundtrack to this particular monday in chicago. enjoy...

on another note: it was great to meet george, aka slydex, aka kondaktor this weekend. (he flew into chicago to play the DTH three-year anniversary party friday.) face-to-face meetings with artists who have made anatomy mixes are really rare for me, so it was a pleasure to hang out with george for a couple days and confirm that he is, in fact, a great guy. if you're in NYC, montreal and/or mexico city, you should catch him at one of his upcoming gigs on his first tour of the continent. i wish him well on the rest of his trip... also, reese's pieces!

Monday, October 21, 2013

monday moods: only for robots 048 [20h28m37] - petstov

here is a mix that's been getting a lot of play from me recently: this set on fellow chicago techno practitioners don't trust humans's only for robots series. it's called [20h28m37] and it comes from petstov, a member of taipei's tuned-in crew smoke machine. here he's in control with close to two hours of sumptuous jams, reaching into the deeper realms of techno and house... yummy:

and on a related note... happy upcoming birthday, don't trust humans! they'll be celebrating three years of operation next month on friday the 8th at primary with kondaktor (aka slydex!), zach lubin, lokua and DTH duo costes (aka r@ttoe and debbie). check details here, and see you there!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

new (live) album from PAN SONIC in the works

[updated] rejoice! after more than three years in "deep freeze" with no new releases, a new live album from pan sonic, the legendary finnish experimental duo of mika vainio and ilpo väisänen, is in the works. title: oksastus.

pan sonic were last in action with 2010's excellent album gravitoni. at the time, it seemed like the pair were about to take an extended break from working together. in the interim, väisänen's output appears to have been sparse, but vainio has been especially productive with his own solo and collaborative pursuits. (RA tips: i wrote this review on his latest solo LP kilo - which is fantastic! - and this news piece covering his upcoming collaboration with sunn O)))'s stephen o'malley, among other recent exploits.)

thanks to darkfloor for sharing the news, and getting clarification: this doesn't actually mark a reunion for pan sonic, but instead the release of a live recording from 2009. oksastus - a finnish word that translates to "grafting" - will come out on limited 2xLP and CD via the ukrainian label kvitnu. like pan sonic's previous live releases often issued via other labels, it's a departure from the blast first/blast first petite axis that put out much of their studio work. there's no release date yet; the closest thing we have to a time is the words "coming soon" on the image above, from the label's website. i'm sure i'm not alone in thinking that while a new studio album would have been a welcome revelation, it's good enough to know that a fresh release from the duo is forthcoming.

while we all await more details, here's some links to a few of my favorite tracks from pan sonic.

... happy tuesday! try not to get too distracted now.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

four years!

and so it continues, as today marks four years since smilecoldanatomy was born!

thanks to everyone who has ever tuned in, hung around, reached out and otherwise helped inspire what has transpired here, ever since the first post back in late september of 2009. extra thanks to the five artists who have contributed to the anatomy series over the last twelve months: abdulla rashim, bleaching agent, fabrizio lapiana, smear and percyl. i hope you've enjoyed their mixes as much as i have.

looking forward, i still have plenty more to share. if you happen to be seeking some fresh anatomy mixes, don't worry. they are rare for a reason, but i promise there will be more very soon - including, perhaps, the first from a US artist. (i'm also working on a few new mixes of my own.)

if you'd like to further connect beyond this blog, here's a reminder that i post pretty frequently to the smilecoldanatomy facebook page, and occasionally distribute nonsense via twitter. and i'm still a contributor for RA; if you like what i write about here, you might like my reviews over there.

that's all for now... thanks again for stopping by!

Monday, September 23, 2013

monday moods: soultek - soultwist

soultek, as some of you might already know, is one of the many aliases of stephen hitchell, who also collaborates with rod modell (known as deepchord, etc) under the echospace name. dubby techno is maybe the easiest way to describe their style, though the two words alone don't do justice to the wide-ranging sounds they've made over the years and across multiple monikers.

the guys just launched a bandcamp page, where you can buy *and* stream a bunch of their music. (it's probably worth a bookmark.) click below to try out out "soultwist", a warm and vibrant jam taken from soultek's 2009 album/compilation, reflective. a proper way to kick off the week, methinks...

i would also recommend following the echospace page on facebook, which is pretty often updated with gig and new release news. otherwise, if you're in need of some more tunes today, that bandcamp page should help keep you occupied.

Friday, September 20, 2013

friday funk: mikkel metal - kenton (marcel dettmann remix)

it has been a busy week, but it is the weekend now... so here's this:

marcel dettmann recently put out his sophomore LP II, which follows his 2011 self-titled album, which has been one of my favorite techno full-lengths from recent years. i haven't given II a full listen yet; instead i'm gonna jump backwards in time - to 2009 - and revisit his super-dope remix of mikkel metal's "kenton".

to me, the original is decent if a bit by-the-numbers, while dettmann's take is one of his better remixes, as well as one of the best tracks to come from copenhagen's echocord label axis (the two-tracker was released on the echocord colour offshoot). cleverly counting out five measures at a time atop righteously syncopated kicks, it's a fantastic slice of noir-ish, dubbed-out techno. happy friday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

friday funk: luke slater, jeff derringer, lokua

happy friday! and now i'd like to share three varied shades of techno, a track from each of the three artists playing tomorrow night at smart bar: luke slater, jeff derringer, and lokua.

this should be a good one - it'll be slater's first chicago gig since 2002. you can learn more about this night with oktave and prosthetic pressings via this preview piece i wrote for ChicagoMusic.org - it's jam-packed with info and full of music links. head to the facebook event page for a few more details, and a reason to arrive early. read, listen, see you tomorrow!

(and thanks be to youtube, as usual.)

luke slater (as planetary assault systems) - call from the east | ostgut ton

jeff derringer - compassion | M_REC LTD

lokua - underly2 | CPKAY RCRDS

Monday, September 9, 2013

monday moods: alva noto - xerrox monophaser 2

raster-noton has been a source of plenty of experimental goodness over the years. one of the best things i've heard from the label is the 2009 album xerrox vol.2 from alva noto (aka carsten nicolai). it's the follow up to 2007's xerrox vol.1, and i think it's the better of the two, though you can't go wrong with either if you're into unique approaches to ambient music.

after putting it aside for a while, i recently gave xerrox vol.2 another listen and have found myself once again enthralled with its layers of warm and fuzzy noise, sublime digital tones and long chord movements. the whole album has this mood to it - at once futuristic and nostalgic - that to me is absolutely addicting. it's hard to pick a favorite here but for today i'll go with "xerrox monophaser 2", which is up on youtube accompanied, very appropriately, by images from NASA. happy monday!

Friday, September 6, 2013

friday funk: oliver ho - seduced

some of oliver ho's tracks can be a bit hit or miss for me, but there's no doubt that he has made a ton of really interesting (and often unconventional) stuff over the years. recently, i grabbed a few of his older records, including the 2xLP listening to the voice inside from 2000. the strangely blissful "seduced", with its razor-sharp percussion and cut-up, spiraling female vocals, is one of that album's finest moments. listen below, then listen again, damnit... and have a happy friday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

interviews, from a to v

changing it up a bit, here's some interviews you should be reading, from some artists whom you should be following - in my humble opinion, anyway.

ABDULLA RASHIM one of my current favorite producers does a rare interview with dissolve, talking about his identity ("i like the rumors") and his thoughts on techno ("i like horizontal music"), among other things. cool stuff. check it out, then hit the repeat button on his excellent anatomy mix from last year! and NYC fans, here's another reminder: for his north american debut, he's playing the bunker in brooklyn next friday along with the mighty luke slater.

HUERCO S i got to see huerco s dj at a ridiculously fun party here in chicago a few months ago. i've been really digging his rough, spaced-out approach to production and dj'ing. he's a relative newcomer, hailing from kansas, but has already put out a handful of very nice records over the past two years (including one under the name royal crown of sweden), and now he's preparing his debut LP, colonial patterns. here, he catches up with FACT to talk about the US midwest's dance music scene, basic channel and more.

JEFF MILLS another interview over at FACT, the title for this one sums it up: "people just don’t ask for better anymore. i think we’ve lost the knowledge of how to do that." jeff mills: always forward-thinking and always worth paying attention to. he's about to release a new album, the jungle planet, so be on the lookout.

REGIS the UK techno boss sits down with spectrum for a nice, long conversation. topics covered include his early days as a music listener and producer and singing "happy birthday" to the ukrainian mafia. his label downwards turns 20 this year; aside from an anniversary compilation featuring chicago's karl meier and jonathan krohn (aka stave, who put out a very cool and sadly limited LP recently called reform) among others, regis and meier will be playing an oktave party at smart bar on saturday, november 23rd. very very excited about that one!

VLADISLAV DELAY great news for fans of vladislav delay, aka sasu ripatti: the finnish experimentalist is launching a new label, simply called ripatti. in this interview with electronic beats, he talks about his latest endeavor, which looks to be a "studio diary" with vinyl-only releases, and his move from berlin back to finland, and touches on some of his older albums ("i don't have a single copy of those records"...!). you can hear short samples of the new label's first record at his soundcloud page. looking forward!

... and that's all for now. happy thursday!

Monday, September 2, 2013

monday moods: silent servant - songs for sleep (new mix)

happy monday, and happy labor day to the rest of you US folks out there! i hope you're able to take it as easy as i am today.

here's a soothing set of sounds from silent servant to help you settle into your week. it was shared a few days ago via his soundcloud page (along with some of his as-usual intriguing artwork, at right), and it's called songs for sleep. prepare your pillows...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

listen to bleaching agent's new release on opal tapes

following his debut releases on mira late last year, bleaching agent - the mysterious UK techno producer who also mixed anatomy 21 - has put out a three-track EP on komisch (here's my RA review for that one), and lined up a couple remix appearances. he now heads to opal tapes, the cassette-focused label which has linked up with a bunch of intriguing artists, including huerco s. and, very recently, yves de may.

bleaching agent's tape is called stride for stride, and you can stream the whole thing below, courtesy of the label's bandcamp page (where you can also order the digital and tape versions; the tape comes out sometime around mid-september). after a first listen, it sounds like bleaching agent is placing a bit more emphasis on space, with a couple 'ambient' passages throughout. "slingbacks" and "by bus" are my quick picks. listen in!

Monday, August 19, 2013

monday moods: planetary assault systems - railer (further exploration)

the messenger, the last LP from planetary assault systems - aka luke slater - remains one of my favorite techno albums of recent years (it was near the top of my list of 2011's best albums). but while it's chock-full of dark and sharp sounds, there's also the gorgeously off-kilter ambient opener, "railer (further exploration)". have a listen below...

... and then happy news for US fans of luke slater, or at least some of us, as he's got a couple US shows lined up in september. (check his RA page.) right now, first up is NYC for the bunker at output on friday the 13th - also on that lineup is abdulla rashim, making his *north american debut*! awesome stuff. (and another opportunity for me to point you to his super-dope anatomy mix.) anyway, the next night, saturday the 14th, luke slater will come to chicago for the first time in years, playing an oktave party at smart bar. should be good!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

BOARDS OF CANADA plan vinyl reissues!

excellent news for anyone looking for vinyl from boards of canada - the UK duo's records are often hard to find and sold at "collectors prices" these days, but these reissues should hopefully help remedy the situation.

the LPs music has the right to children, geogaddi, the campfire headphase, and twoism, along with the EPs in a beautiful place out in the country and trans canada highway, will all be be resurrected on vinyl in late october and november. you can check all the details over at the duo's website.

these reissues on warp look to cap a relatively busy year for boards of canada, as they also released tomorrow's harvest, their first full-length in some eight years, a couple months ago.

music has the right to children and geogaddi are two of my all-time favorite albums, so i'm really looking forward to finally getting my hands on some of these records!

Monday, August 12, 2013

hear a new track from regis and russell haswell, aka CONCRETE FENCE

alert! UK veterans regis and russell haswell, each long at work at their own uncompromising musical pursuits, are teaming up for a three-track EP, under the moniker concrete fence, on one of today's better experimental labels, the berlin-based PAN. the record, new release (1), looks to be released at the end of the month, and i think we can expect a heavy dose of raw, droning, maybe-you-can-call-it-techno, if "industrial disease" is any indicator. graciously shared via the PAN soundcloud, you can wig out to that track below.

monday moods: roswell return - probe

some of you may have picked up on roswell return back in 2009 or 2010, when he put out a few releases on SD records. the low-key dub/ambient/techno producer seems to have been mostly silent since then, until a recent appearance on field records. that got me thinking about probe, his very eclectic album from 2010 that still sounds interesting today. and, it just so happens that the whole thing (including a few extra tracks, apparently) is available to be heard online free. you can stream and buy the digital version over at bandcamp, and/or have a listen below. the embedded player skips to track 2, so click back if you want to start it from the beginning. happy monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

friday funk: vladislav delay - huone

it's been a while, and i need to toss my computer out the window, so this edition of friday funk will be a quickie... sorta. "huone", which made its way into the fantastic cd multila, is one of my favorite tracks from vladislav delay - all 22 minutes of it. absolutely delicious! check it out below, and have a good weekend.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

alan backdrop prepares release for prologue!

hooray! alan backdrop, the italian dj and producer who crafted a lovely three-hour anatomy mix two years ago, is preparing to debut on munich's prologue label with a seven-track EP titled VR Plan. check out the samples below.... looking forward!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

watch: murcof and edgar amor

although not new, this is certainly worth 25 minutes of your time. it's the duo of murcof and edgar amor, performing last year at the detours de babel festival in grenoble, france. (found via murcof's facebook page.) no more words... dive in:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

rest in peace, DAVE TWOMEY

terrible, terrible news: dave twomey has passed away. dave had been battling colorectal cancer, but succumbed to the illness earlier this week at the age of 33.

i never met dave in person, but we had kept in occasional contact ever since he turned in a set for the anatomy series here back in 2011. at the time, dave (aka tr nch) expressed his desire to start a label based off his mariana event series in tokyo, where he had helped host artists like cio d'or, peter van hoesen, mike parker and abdulla rashim. just a few months ago, he launched that label, mariana wax. it was a pleasure, now bittersweet, to be able to give the label's inspiring first release a review over at RA.

from our exchanges, and from the blog he had maintained, and from the worldwide display of love during (and now after) his battle - i could easily see dave had a good spirit, and was a hard fighter in the face of tremendously difficult circumstances. my thoughts are with his family and friends. rest easy now, dave.

Monday, July 15, 2013

monday moods: hear a new ambient set from SURGEON

good timing! surgeon earlier today uploaded a two-hour set of ambient sounds he performed at the UK festival freerotation just a few days ago. "colourful, uplifting psychedelia" is the theme, according to the man himself, making it a perfect fit for a monday afternoon. click through to surgeon's action-packed soundcloud page for the tracklist, and to read more about the set and setting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

new EP from DONATO DOZZY for electronique.it records!

splendid news: a new EP from donato dozzy has just been released! it comes courtesy of the label arm of electronique.it, which hosted the hypnotic techno maestro as part of its 200th podcast celebration earlier this year. dozzy worked together material from 55 tracks in a little over an hour with that very cool set, which is certainly worth your time - check it here if you haven't yet. (and be sure to read the included essay!)

the new release, aptly titled 200 Ep, is made up of three tracks, each of which seems to be extracted from that podcast, and each of which is itself made up of loops and samples taken from other roman artists' productions. check the description and *stream the whole thing* below, and head to the electronique.it records bandcamp page and electronique.it facebook page for more details and updates on how to get the vinyl.
Donato Dozzy goes Africa! Taken from his recent exclusive podcast dedicated to the city of Roma, 200 Ep is the materialization of Donato's dream. Three exceptional tracks for a sound ranging from a hi-tech afro-rythms to futuristic hyper-hypnotic techno assault.

Monday, July 1, 2013

monday moods: GAS

i have returned - and with a long-overdue new computer, hooray - so i'll try to post up more regularly here. let's start off the week with some easy moods from wolfgang voigt's fantastic GAS project. i've picked three subdued, lighter-hearted tracks, each from a different LP: zauberberg, königsfort, and pop. (it's unsurprisingly a bit harder to find stuff on youtube from the self-titled album.) enjoy!

Monday, June 17, 2013

monday moods: abdulla rashim live at berghain

it's been a while, but now it's time for some fresh monday moods... today, abdulla rashim graciously shared a free stream of this, a recording of his live set at berlin's berghain back in march. you'll probably recognize some familiar 'older' material, as well as his fantastic new remix for polar inertia that just saw release on the very nice paris-based label DEMENT3D. get to it:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

this thursday: faltyDL and bill kouligas at chicago's pritzker pavilion

it's almost summer here in chicago, which means tons of street festivals and free public concerts in the coming months, and which usually means at least a few must-see shows at the magnificent jay pritzker pavilion in millennium park.

this year there sadly appears to be less electronic music offerings than usual, even by the slim standards of previous years - which makes the notable events even more notable. keep in mind the loops and variations series, which starts off with a bang this thursday night, thanks to two well-regarded out-of-towners, each with their own flair for adventure: ninja tune and planet mu's faltyDL is likely to offer up some soulful stuff with heavy hints of garage and techno, while bill kouligas, owner of berlin's acclaimed PAN imprint, might move a bit farther into more abstract environs. (click here and there for some sounds from each artist, respectively.)

the show will start at 630pm and presumably run until 9pm or so. graciously, venue rules allow visitors to bring their own food and drink - yes, you can bring alcohol - and picnic gear, so be sure to come adequately prepared. the pritzker pavilion is one of my favorite places in the city, and this is one of the venue's most forward-thinking electronic music lineups this summer, so i'm pretty excited. see you there!

Friday, June 7, 2013

friday funk: see a weird new video for rossella's "phytoplankton" remix

time for friday funk! which today takes the form of a new video for a remix from rossella.

originally released back in 2011, rossella's reinterpretation was one of three for an original track from electric indigo and irradiation called phytoplankton; dasha rush and jennifer cardini completed the ladies-only digital EP. and now, we have this very strange visual accompaniment to rossella's charmingly spooky, syncopated effort. watch and listen:

... and if you seek some more sounds for your afternoon/evening, go tune in to rossella's wonderful anatomy mix from last year. happy friday!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

try out the new LP from ZEITGEBER

quite graciously, the stroboscopic artefacts crew is offering up a full soundcloud stream of the full-length album from zeitgeber, AKA speedy j and lucy, which is officially due for release next week. glitchy, experimental soundscapes abound, along with a few expansive techno constructs... check it out below.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

hear a new track from juan atkins and moritz von oswald's BORDERLAND collaboration

juan atkins and moritz von oswald are teaming up to produce a new album called borderland. both many-aliased artists should be household names for techno heads, but a quick refresher, just in case: atkins is one of detroit's most iconic producers, while berlin's von oswald is probably best known for the pioneering dub/techno soundscapes crafted alongside mark ernestus as basic channel and rhythm & sound, and alone under the name maurizio. (pardon my bias towards von oswald: the BCD compilation and a bunch of stuff on the BC sublabel chain reaction played a huge role in my initial forays into the world of electronic music.)

borderland is due out on tresor on june 10th, but before then you can take a wander through "mars garden," the first track publicly shared by the label. sounds very nicely spaced out, and the rest of the track titles seem interesting enough... looking forward to hearing the whole thing!

01. Electric Garden (Deep Jazz In The Garden Mix)
02. Electric Dub
03. Footprints
04. Electric Garden (Original Mix)
05. Treehouse
06. Mars Garden
07. Digital Forest
08. Afterlude

Friday, May 24, 2013

friday funk: BOARDS OF CANADA (new track!)

yeah! hopefully you've heard the news: fuzzy electronics duo boards of canada are returning with a new album, tomorrow's harvest, due out june 10th on warp records. i wasn't too impressed with the rambling promotional campaign that preceded the actual album announcement, but now we've got something a bit more tangible to chew on. first single "reach for the dead" was posted on youtube yesterday - give it a try:

tomorrow's harvest will be the duo's first album in eight years - and suddenly it's one of the 2013's most anticipated albums, for me at least. if you need a refresher or an introduction, i heartily recommend previous long players music has the right to children (1998) and geogaddi (2002), my personal favorites. though the wax is expensive and/or hard to come by these days, youtube is chock-full of their songs. i'll point you to just one personal favorite, "rue the whirl".

pre-order options for the new album are listed on the boards of canada homepage. for stateside vinyl buyers, it looks like amazon.com is the cheapest option for the 2xLP at the moment. you can click the "local" button for physical store options as well. try not to get too giddy, and check the tracklist and cover art below. hail satan!

01. Gemini
02. Reach For The Dead
03. White Cyclosa
04. Jacquard Causeway
05. Telepath
06. Cold Earth
07. Transmisiones Ferox
08. Sick Times
09. Collapse
10. Palace Posy
11. Split Your Infinities
12. Uritual
13. Nothing Is Real
14. Sundown
15. New Seeds
16. Come To Dust
17. Semena Mertvykh

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

anatomy picks: movement 2013

yes, really lame, i know: i won't be traveling to detroit this weekend for movement 2013. (it hurts, seriously.) but! that won't stop me from pointing out some artists that i think are worth seeing, should there be any detroit-bound techno fiends in need of some tips. this is certainly not a comprehensive list, as the festival's lineup looks particularly good this year. nonetheless, i submit these ten anatomy picks for your consideration:
[UPDATE. lucy and marcel dettmann have canceled their appearances due to - you guessed it - "visa issues".]

LUCY the stroboscopic artefacts boss has a two-hour slot to open the underground stage. intriguingly, lucy is booked before a pair of (relatively) more house-oriented dj's in nina kraviz and steffi. but i'd be surprised if he did not stuff that room full of dark, atmospheric techno. anyway, lucy is certainly one of the movement 2013's most forward-thinking bookings. an excellent reason to get to the festival early, and my top pick for saturday at hart plaza. underground stage, saturday, 2-4pm

DAVE CLARKE his previous detroit appearances are seemingly spoken of only in hushed, reverent tones, and he does not play the US very often (up until a few years ago, it had been close to a decade since his last visit). a rare stateside opportunity - on the big stage, no less - to see the so-called "baron of techno" at work. rbma stage, saturday, 8:30-10pm

BEN KLOCK b2b MARCEL DETTMANN oh how this duo should have gotten a longer set. methinks techno heads surely would have been satisfied with a slimmed-down program where klock and dettmann would have three or more hours to work with; at least, it would be more must-see if they had a longer set time. still, look for these two berghain favorites to hit it pretty hard while they can. underground stage, sunday, 7:30pm-9:15pm

AUDION hooray for the return of audion! i've grown a bit weary with matthew dear's 'pop' meanderings over the past few years; it's usually interesting stuff, but i think he's better when he gets out of his big black car and dives into the intensely hypnotic sounds of his audion alias. there's hardly been any new material or live shows from audion in three or four years. and now there's this return to detroit (he's also billed for wavefront festival in chicago in july). dare we hope for more action from audion this year? rbma stage, sunday, 8-9pm

DANIEL BELL i'd be a fool if i didn't recommend some of detroit's top homegrown talent, because as usual, there's a ton of it at the festival. you could probably get a pretty wide-reaching history lesson by setting up shop at the made in detroit stage all weekend. i'd also recommend checking out terrence parker and ryan elliott, to name a just a few, but my top pick of the locals is daniel bell, whose closing set is likely to be filled with smooth, minimalist techno and house. made in detroit stage, sunday, 9pm-close

PLANETARY ASSAULT SYSTEMS unfortunately, this one has a bunch of overlap with daniel bell's set. if you've got the courage, the underground stage is the place to be sunday evening, as it marks a very rare US appearance for luke slater - and his live alias, planetary assault systems (he'll also be dj'ing at an afterparty, see below). slater is one of my favorite artists: his 2011 album the messenger, produced as PAS, ranked #2 on my top LPs from that year, and to my ears, it's been unmatched by almost every techno album released since then. either way, he certainly ranks among the genre's finest, most open-minded talents. this is my top pick for sunday - and for the entire weekend! underground stage, sunday, 9:15-1030pm

DABRYE tadd mullinix is a man of many hats. one of them, dabrye, is filled with abstract hip-hop jams. though i only occasionally tune in these days, his 2001 LP one/three was one of my first "favorite" electronic albums. this set could be pretty good way to ease into monday afternoon. rbma stage, monday, 3pm-430pm

ECHOLOGIST aka brendon moeller, he'll be opening up the underground stage on monday. the charmingly spaced-out echologist album subterranean was (like the PAS LP) one of my favorites back in 2011, but i'd expect him to be a bit more floor-friendly with this set. underground stage, monday, 2-3:30pm

MIKE PARKER he just played an unsurprisingly fantastic set here for his chicago debut, and i'm sure his bag will be properly packed as he plays the festival for the first time (and he'll be playing a friday-night party in his detroit debut, see below). consider mike my top pick of monday's program. underground stage, monday, 3:30-5pm

RROSE okay, now i'm just going through monday's underground program one by one - i'll stop now, but it's really that good, especially on the front end. mysterious man/woman rrose has been moving beyond his affiliation with the (apparently) defunct sandwell district, and further refining her psychedelic style via his own label, eaux. this set should have your head swirling by the end. underground stage, monday, 5-6pm

... and then there's a whole catalog of afterparties happening around detroit. i helped write this guide over at RA, which i think is pretty comprehensive. then there's this very long listing. here's some quick recommendations, along with a few choice artist picks.

perc trax showcase - the works | perc, mike parker, rrose
smart bar/tv lounge opening party and bbq - tv lounge | derek plaslaiko, cassy

CLR detroit - st. andrew's hall | marcel dettmann b2b radio slave
deep detroit v.5 - 1515 broadway | kyle hall, norm talley, kai alce

interface 42 - scene 10 - the works | luke slater, rødhåd (top afterparty pick), silent servant
ok, cool - tv lounge | rick wade, mike huckaby, michael mayer
ghost in the sound - 4264 grand river ave. | deepchord presents echospace, population one (aka terrence dixon)

klockworks label night - the works | recondite, ben klock

... and that's all from me. what shall i be doing this weekend, you might ask? i'll probably be staying indoors and off my feet, listening to music, and menacingly closing my curtains. to those going: safe travels, stay out of trouble and have fun!