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Alright, we’re back in business.

Videowave is the latest release from Kuedo (Jaime Teasdale). Along with another individual named Roly Porter, these two artists established a name for themselves by being early pioneers of the dubstep genre known under the Vex’d moniker. The duo’s latest venture together is in Cloud Seed also released on Planet Mu.

These two people together released a handful of releases on Planet Mu, helmed by Mike Paradinas. Mike also creates similar music himself under the µ-Ziq alias (pronounced “music”). This label has been responsible for some of the most vivid and imaginative electronic music released especially in recent years with acts like Machinedrum, Boxcutter, Solar Bears, iTAL tEK, Starkey, newcomer Chrissy Murderbot, and yes, Vex’d as well as µ-Ziq and more. It really is a testament to Mike Paradinas’s direction and leadership that the label is consistently putting out high quality releases like this.

Being an EP, this record has but a few tracks: a remix from Illum Sphere (who typically released on Fat City and a short stint on Dutch dj Martyn‘s 3024 label), a remix from Warp Records staple Chris Clark, and a remix from someone that I’m not familiar with who is called Heterotic (who nevertheless did a good job on his contribution to the EP).

The record does a great job of slicing and dicing complex beats – no surprise there given Vex’d track record in the past especially with hallmark album Degenerate released in ’05. Beyond that, intricately woven idm-esque sounds thrown down on punctual slabs of sub bass complete its short but adventurous stint barely breaking 19 minutes in duration.

Videowave opens with a song called Take Off which is a remix of an unreleased Slugabed track. It’s definitely more dancefloor oriented than everything else on the record and really sets the mood until its conclusion.

Perhaps the most sought after track here is Illum Sphere’s lovely remix of Starfox. Originally released on last year’s Dream Sequence EP (check it out), it is easy to ascertain that this is a fun loving track that contains a lot of crushed beats topped with a 8 bit arcade-esque adventure with a wonkyness that makes the sounds produced by artists like Machinedrum and Los Angeles-based Flying Lotus so desirable.

Learn more about the artist here:

Last.fm

Discogs

Planet Mu

And buy this release here:

Planet Mu

Download.

i slept in these clothes

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

It is my birthday so I’ll be taking a few short days off from writing. But fret not! I’ll be back shortly to post more awesome electronic oriented music.

In the meantime, I’ve created a Facebook profile page for Clothes. Here you’ll be able to get updated on new posts that I’ve posted here as well as information on new albums that have come out that might be of interest to you. I’m hoping that this group takes off as I’ll be able to further communicate with my readers (you!) on new material and details on music that’s been released recently.

Take care!
Edited: fixed link.

Room(s) is the latest record from Machinedrum and is released on heavyweight electronic label Planet Mu. The man behind Machinedrum, Andrew Stewart, has quite a few albums under his belt which were typically released on the now-defunct (but still awesome) Merck label, briefly moving over to the Normrex and LuckyMe labels for two full length releases.

Machinedrum and moreso this album in particular could quite easily be described as a fruitful blend between Flying Lotus, Prefuse 73, and even Autechre to a degree. Musical elements from all three of these kings of electronic music are present in this lusciously created album.

The upbeat nature of the record is emphasized by extraordinarily calculated beatwork while sounding incredibly effortless and unforgiving. The album moves fast with processed vocals dancing throughout energized drum machine beats. It is clear here that its author is heavily invested and influenced by the sort of glitchy/instrumental hip-hop sound that makes musicians like Flying Lotus mentioned above so popular.

Some people may find it tedious to overcome the vocal samples that are used repetitiously throughout the album, however if one looks at the finer details of Room(s), you may find yourself entranced with Stewart’s perfectionist methods of creating songs that somehow sound even more unique than the last. Plenty of booming sub-bass almost usurp other elements that are present in the record giving it a deep textural characterization that enhance the chaotic drum patterns and the effortlessly injected and playfully autotuned male/female vocal sampling.

It is obvious that Room(s) is a new take upon a genre of music that hasn’t seen a lot of coverage and innovation recently since being recognized in the early 1990s. Born out of Chicago, Ghetto house was/is this genre that really took on its own form with sparse use of synthesizers and 808/909 drum machines (among other elements). It was also referred to as Footwork or Juke. By the early 2000s, a lot of this type of sound was absorbed by many of the UK-based producers coming out recently and into a genre now known as dubstep pioneered by artists like DJ Distance.

I don’t know what makes this album as good as it is. Maybe it is the ruthless methods in which everything down to the sequencing is formed and organized. Maybe it’s the way the vocal samples intertwine perfectly with hip hop-esque beats between this wonky fusion of Prefuse 73-style state of the art production and a spacious and playful take on an old genre that has really breathed new life into this type of music.

In the end, Room(s) happens to be one of the most fresh and innovative records of the year authored by one of the most creative individuals in the business.

For more information, check out the following resources:

Last.fm

Discogs

Planet Mu

Buy this at:

Planet Mu

Bleep

Download.

The Invisible Insurrection is Sven Weisemann’s second album released on Fauxpas Records based out of Germany. Released earlier this year, Desolate’s influences are clear from the beginning with UK-based 2-step act Burial being cited almost universally.

That’s OK though, because while there are obvious artistic influences between the two, there exists plenty of differences and quirks to make this album stand out on its own. And if you’ve listened to any of Burial’s records, you’ll soon come to rediscover this familiar collage of two step and a sort of a solemn and abstractly atmospheric sound that comprises the record.

Wistful piano pieces play across the record that accompany a subtle downtempo beat that provide a surreal warmth integrated with hushed vocal samples occasionally protruding from the woodwork adding to the isolation that the album captures.

In fact, that is one of the things that makes The Invisible Insurrection so great and those who have longed for another full length release from Burial since Untrue will find a refuge amidst the wonderfully contemplative and seductive sounds that listeners will find within.

The mash up between the laid back garage with its calm ambient backdrop certainly serves to provide a lot of opportunity to further the cinematic elements that the album relies upon to drive itself forward.

It’s not particularly hard to determine what level of downtempo music that the artist was after while creating the album with track titles like “Cathartic”, “Farewell”, “Pain”, and “Escape” – even down to the artist’s name and with that said, it may very well be more of a weathered and moody exploration into the genres illustrated here. It quickly becomes obvious that this is a very nocturnal album. Check out Subheim’s Approach if you enjoy this.

For more information, check out the following resources:

Last.fm

Discogs

Soundcloud

Buy this album at:

Boomkat

Download.

Love as a Dark Hallway is Benn Jordan’s latest album released on his label Alphabasic.

The man has a few aliases in which he records/recorded under including Human Action Network, his own name, Acidwolf, and Flexe. Despite all of these pseudonyms, The Flashbulb remains as his most popular name and continues to operate to this day.

Looking at this musician’s previous works will yield a very broad spectrum of music. It is very easy to classify him as a sort of an Aphex Twin style musician in that his works can be incredibly diverse, creating rollercoaster-style breakcore one moment and melodically complex idm music the next. Indeed, Kirlian Selections and Red Extensions of Me demonstrated that the man definitely has talent creating fast paced yet composed breakcore bangers. And in 2007’s Welcome to Chicago under his Human Action Network pseudonym, even acid house was explored and was rewarded with positive attention from fans of the genre.

However despite his quality contributions to these genres, in recent years he seems to have found that his strongest artistic talents actually lie somewhere in the realm of ambient music occasionally breaking familiar grounds into other genres along the way.

I’d speculate that the start of these turn of events started with his experimentation with Pale Blue Dot released as a tribute to the achievements and life of astronomer Carl Sagan. Pale Blue Dot was released under the recording name of Benn Jordan in 2008 and can easily be seen as one of his most solemn works perhaps only rivaled by a later work dubbed Louisiana Mourning, a dedication for his late friend Charlie Cooper who comprised one half of famed electronic duo Telefon tel Aviv (who have a very loyal following, I might add).

Limited to only 500 copies, Louisiana Mourning is a small four track record contains some of his most beautiful and timeless songs played in a sort of a bluegrass/folk style collage primarily powered by an acoustic guitar and bowed strings.

This album is actually easier to compare to some of his previous works including perhaps his most well known work as The Flashbulb with 2008’s Soundtrack to a Vacant Life in addition to Arboreal (an essentially refined mix of Soundtrack and Pale Blue Dot with absolutely gorgeous tracks in between). This record isn’t necessarily as solemn as some of his previous ventures; on the contrary, it does present to its listener some grand adventures in a more optimistic sort of light with songs like “Let Me Walk You to Your Honda” as well as “A Baptist Church in Georgia”.

The record really goes the extra mile in covering a wide ranging array of instrumentation as well – from guitar work with a savory jazzy hint to them complimented by care free piano work peppered by The Flashbulb’s signature idm backbone.

Honestly though, I enjoy and cherish the more concealed and private side of music that Benn Jordan has produced in this album and beyond. Love as a Dark Hallway contains a lot of these elements, although that isn’t necessarily the only thing that makes it a good one.

The record as a whole doesn’t need to prove anything; upon the first play through, listeners will easily be able to recognize Benn Jordan’s trade mark relaxed and cohesive production style – one that has been consistent time and time again with every release since I began to listen to my first album from this remarkable musician years and years ago.

For more information, check out the following resources:

Last.fm

Discogs

Alphabasic

And if you like it, please do yourself a favor and buy it at:

Alphabasic

Download.

Welcome Reality is Nero’s debut album released earlier this month. Nero is a two man dubstep group born out of London in 2004, making great first impressions in the dnb/dubstep music community with the release of “This Way” and “Bad Trip” in 2008. The album is being released under MTA Records, helmed by another London act Chase & Status who typically create upbeat drum and bass.

The album emphasizes characteristics that a lot of dubstep contains: lots of rolling bass, soaring highs, and a general filthiness that punctuate what a lot of the genre is about. However, this album contains a few traits that isn’t necessarily common with a release of this publicity: it’s slightly more care free than a lot of other dubstep out there – almost as if the album is content to not take itself too seriously. Additionally, vocals are present throughout the record which is not something that I find too common in releases of this caliber.

The album is pretty solid though. Sexy, almost angelic-like female vocals by Alana Watson accompany a great deal of tracks on the record, perhaps most accentuated in “Crush on You” and “Promises”.

“Reaching Out” samples vocals from from the 1984 track “Out of Touch” from Hall & Oates, and “Angst” acts as a remix by Justice’s “Stress” off of their 2007 album Cross. I might be so bold as to say that a tinge of an ’80s influence is present in the record especially evident in some of the melodies and synth leads that it contains.

Highlights of the record include “My Eyes” – a track with a pulsing rhythm, hypnotic vocals once again provided by Alana, and an absolute killer bass line. Additionally, the aforementioned “Crush on You”, “Must be the Feeling”, and “Promises”, along with “Guilt” serves to provide soaring vocals, glorious beat-work and singing that match harmoniously with the momentum that the track carries with it.

The very next track doesn’t wait for an introduction, almost acting as a sort of an epilogue for “Guilt” with enjoyable synths and thick slabs of bass. “Innocence” is also a hallmark track.

Really, the album does something different that a lot of dubstep does not in that vocals are present in the majority of the album. I find that a lot of dubstep is completely void of vocals unless it is from a sample.

In this case, I find that the pace of Nero’s music here compliments and warrants its introduction. I was mildly concerned at first when I had first learned that vocals would be present, but they have been tastefully done here and it’s not something that detracts from the record as a whole.

It’s fairly fast paced (without being a nuisance) and easy going and it makes for a great album to pop into your car’s CD player as you’re out for a drive. They do look like some nerds out in the wild though (tee hee).

Fun, care-free dubstep done well. Recommended.

For more information, check out:

Last.fm

Discogs

MTA Records

Buy this from:

Amazon

MTA Records

Download.

(removed)

It’s Artificial is the very recently released debut album from the US-based artist Andrew Bayer on the trance stronghold Anjunabeats label. Bayer’s background contains a lot of roots in trance and other electronic-oriented music. He has collaborated with fellow musicians Boom Jinx and BT (“The Emergency) in the past, producing formidable results. However, he is mostly known for his work in a duo trance act dubbed Signalrunners with partner-in-music Alan Nimmo. With Nimmo, he is responsible for some really fantastic sounds under the Signalrunners alias since its inception in 2003. The duo also released a nicely composed single called Unconditional in 2006 on Mondo Records.

However, as a solo artist, It’s Artificial is his debut album released not too long ago this year. And although the background of Bayer is deeply rooted in trance music, this album does not contain so much of those elements typically found in that genre. Instead, the record penetrates the glitch-hop realm of the music world heavily infused with elements found in idm and breakbeat-based work. The record would fit perfectly within Ninja Tune’s catalog or even Planet Mu, just to give you an idea of what you might expect within.

“Counting the Points”, as linked above, almost has a certain µ-Ziq-quality to it, especially heard within its beginning.

Armed with a seemingly hypnotic glitch-hop framework, the record effortlessly provides ample replayability value with extraordinary craftsmanship and a BT-like attention to detail. I think it’s rather impressive considering the album’s gorgeous versatility, although perhaps to some it may not immediately be apparent.

With his debut, Andrew Bayer has created a work so composed and intricate, that it may stand to rival heavyweight albums in the same genre. Spacious vocal-less breakbeats with glitch-hop? Yes please.

For more information, please check out the following resources:

Last.fm

Discogs

Anjunabeats blog

If you like the record, do yourself a favor and buy it at:

Beatport

Audiojelly

Amazon

Download.

I’ve wanted to write about this band and their music for quite some time now but never could discover the words that I wanted to use to describe them. I think that one of the main reasons why I’ve become so attracted to this record is that I hadn’t quite heard something played in this fashion and in such continuity before and done to a degree that I’ve come to appreciate over the course of a few years. Having been released in early ’08, the record itself has had time to settle throughout its respective musical circles and suffice it to say, it has managed to hold its own particularly well despite similar releases of comparable sounds.

This double album is not so much about any one genre; indeed, many musical elements are showcased here. A lot of shoegaze is present as is a bit of post-rock and even drone at points. The shoegaze elements work particularly well – I don’t find too many albums these days who have been able to replicate the effect that is played throughout Half a Nice Life’s music. The third track perhaps most heavily hints at this with vocals sounding like they’ve been partially submerged as well as liberal use of effect pedals and other equipment that produce a certain dreamlike quality to it reminiscent of 80s and very early 90s shoegaze groups (think The Jesus and the Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine).

However, I don’t think that these reasons alone account for the band’s consistent appeal since I’ve known about them. The fact that they do so many things in the album and do it well should indeed speak for itself. It flows very well from the very first track. Texturally rough, but beautiful and seductive. It took me a fairly lengthy amount of time to fully appreciate the record for what it is and I’m still finding small details about it that make that even more pronounced.

What’s interesting is that the people behind the Connecticut, US-based band took almost eight years to put out their very first full length album when it was formed in 2000, perhaps more involved in other projects at the time including bands like The Danger Strangers and then-active In Pieces. Their second release entitled Time of Land was released two years later comprising of just four tracks and although of equal caliber to Deathconciousness, not much else has been heard from this group that we know of, at least not in any official capacity.

“Bloodhail” and “The Big Gloom” proved to be surefire hits, however there is a lot more to be discovered as you listen throughout the album including “Holy Fucking Shit, 40,000” linked above as well as “I Don’t Love” found within the second half of the album: an incredible washed out wall of sound that really satisfies and compliments the entire album very, very elegantly.

Double albums are usually very ambitious and prove themselves out with their reception. And despite the hype that this band got when Deathconciousness was released, Half a Nice Life has honestly out done themselves with such a fine quality release and I have no doubt that the record will continue to be a staple of the genres that it represents.

For more information, check out the following:

Last.fm

Discogs

– At Enemies List Recordings

Download.

Just thought I’d drop a line showcasing “Midnight City” off of M83’s forthcoming album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Release date TBA.

The song is available to download here.

M83 is Anthony Gonzalez, a one man shoegaze-ish band hailing from France. His first few albums are top notch quality. His latest record entitled Saturdays = Youth from 2008 took a bit of a weird change in direction as far as sound goes.

It was a lot more open and honestly it felt a little diluted from previous M83 works, which typically incorporated many elements from the shoegaze and idm genres to make incredible textures and soundscapes. This song from his upcoming album gets me excited because it sounds like it is a return to his earlier, more robust works of art.

Also, take a look at his upcoming concert tour from the website listed below.

More to come…

Find more information at:

Last.fm

Discogs

Download this for free at:

ilovem83

It has been awhile, hasn’t it?

In my absence, I hope you’ve all discovered a few gems here and there. Undoubtedly, the record I’m about to showcase here is probably old news to a lot of people who follow the genre. However I am sure that a refresher to remind of its greatness to even its first listeners would be appreciated.

Ravedeath is an interesting album because it already captures the artistic finesse and workmanship that Hecker has shown us in his previous records right off of the bat. I think I began to realize this to a greater degree within his 2006 album Harmony in Ultraviolet. I’m sure older listeners still would cite his beginning works dating back to the early 2000s and possibly what he has accomplished under another alias as a young, budding musician.

 

And while Harmony in Ultraviolet certainly showcased Hecker’s abilities, 2009’s An Imaginary Country saw the artist grow quite a bit not only in style, but in restraint, tact, and skill as well. The album solidified the artist amongst his fans as competent and genuine, and with that, his audience has only grown. There exists a great deal of musicians who create controversial (intentionally or otherwise) records for their fans, its effect sometimes splitting that band’s fanbase in half over it, with many scoffing in disbelief wondering how their favorite artist could create such a monstrosity.

However, with Tim Hecker, there hasn’t really been a record like that, at least with the general consensus. Time and time again, the musician is able to throw down the gauntlet of grayed out soundscapes with luscious texture and feeling, and Ravedeath is not an exception.

With his three recent albums, there have always been a top tier favorite track that I’ve been able to pick out and with that, show other people what wondrous sounds that album contains within. In Harmony, “Chimeras” was a colossal song that I think got a lot of people to appreciate Tim Hecker’s work, and in An Imaginary Country, the song “Currents of Electrostasy” proved to be a great way to introduce people to the rest of the album and the artist as a whole. I think with Ravedeath, “No Drums” just might be that next step: calm and eloquent, yet persistent and articulate. It’s honestly one of the most marvelous tracks that I’ve heard from recently released albums from this year, and I can without a doubt say that of the record itself. Bravo to Tim Hecker for creating a fantastic piece of work.

Go ahead. Buy this one.

For more info, check out the following resources:

Last.fm

Discogs

Buy this at:

Kranky Records

Download.