Showing posts with label 90s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 90s. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 June 2018

90s Acardipane Again


Primitive GLOOM/DOOM-CORE at its finest. Gabber stripped down to an elemental level that's almost subtle but it's not though if you you know what I mean. Sometimes I think this is just the best sound ever created, why would you need anything else?



Marc Acardipane is so in the zone here. I reckon he could have stayed there for another half an hour at least. I guess this is like an acid counterpart to the first tune.



Noisy gabber shit. An unhinged trip!


Maximal noise overload. An incredible concussive racket that goes fucking mental but somehow doesn't become a mess. It is a perfect cacophony till the end. How the hell does he do that? Acardipane at the peak of his powers. Surely one of the finest musical (?) moments from the 90s.

These 4 tunes are all by Marc Acardipane and are taken from the compilation PHUTURE released on PCP in 1994. When his day of recognition is coming I don't know but it's absurd that it hasn't. He was one of THE two or three great sonic technicians of the 90s.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Gabba

I was thinking the other day 'We've been waiting for some kind of gabber recommencement since 2016 flipped into 2017 but nothing's happened.' I guess the scene has probably continued on in the same way that drum'n'bass still exists. What I really mean is that gabber/doomcore/gloomcore godfather and legend Marc Arcardipane hasn't resurfaced as far as I can tell (not that I've really looked). In the 90s Arardipane had this logo on many of his releases See You In 2017. 

Here are some dudes (below) with the historical knowledge of gabber giving it a retro-gabba crack (Via Energy Flash).



I wish this lecture (above) was real and was going to continue on for another 45 minutes. The track by DJ Balli & Giacomo Bella ChickenFIAT that was posted at Energy Flash is fun but hardly revelatory, hey what is these days?



God I love that thick squally synth sound! Rotterdam Terror Corps were mentioned in that above trailer.



Hardcore



70s rock (Queen samples, traces of Sabbath riffage in the synth) influences in 90s Hardcore!





Cold Rush. Atmos-Fear was recorded several years earlier than the other above tunes. This is Marc Arcardipane & Marc Arcardipane ie. he is The Mover & The Rave Creator. This is the true soundtrack for 2017.

It's 2017?
Where are you Marc?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 with Marc Acardipane

WE HAVE ARRIVED IN THE PHUTURE



These first two are on the same record from 1990!!!



From 1992 this is a one sided LP.



A classic from 96. A pretty ominous title right there and a rather fitting sound for now doncha' think?

Of course these are all Marc Acardipane aliases and that was an alias for Mark Trauner. Marc was THE German producer of hardcore techno/gabba/gloomcore from 1989 onwards, more like a genre unto himself! Acardipane must have had over 100 pseudonyms and trying to collect his full back catalogue must be a futile task but it would be kind of heroic if you had them all. He had a big thing about 2017. I'm not really sure what it was, can't remember if I ever knew, but perhaps all will be revealed this year. On his record sleeves he kept saying See You In 2017. Surely he's gonna make a comeback and be as big as Beyonce....well it's a nice thought anyway. Perhaps It'll just be the end of the world as we know it and Acardipane will feel fine.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Loveless - My Bloody Valentine

Tim's Ultra Rough Guide To Rock - Part VI


After my previous post on Debbie Googe I thought I'd put up this old bit I wrote on on Loveless.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE - LOVELESS [1991]
Really do I need to spill another word onto a page about the merits of this LP? This recording is one of the most pillaged albums in rock’s history. The Jesus & Mary Chain laid down the blueprint via Phil Spector, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Dr. Mix & The Remix, Aeroplane Runways and more. Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du and Sonic Youth added the extra flavour and My Bloody Valentine made noise rock at its most beautiful, blurry, melodic, disorientating and come on I have to say it, BLISSED OUT (er..thanks Mr Reynolds). Kevin Shields provided his considerably unique guitar talents along with Belinda Butcher. They together did their extraordinary girl/boy vocal thing. The rhythm section was none too shabby either with the aforementioned Deb Googe on her heavy, dubby and sometimes pummelling bass. Colm O'Ciosoig provided the drums as well as occasional sampling/production/engineering duties. It all began to come together in 1988 with the release of the You Made Me Realise EP and Feed Me With Your Kiss followed by the brilliant LP Isn’t Anything. My Bloody Valentine were on an incredible roll that turned into an avalanche with 1990’s Glider EP & 1991’s Tremolo EP followed by Loveless! Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation may have taken rock to its furthest reaches but Loveless took it beyond the universe and even into un-rock regions ie. ambient and ultra vague dance-rock. This was future rock’s cherry on top. We thought ongoing sonic exploration of rock was to continue but this was it. Loveless has now become an almost melancholy sonic document, like modernist Russian architecture that’s now in ruins, because it was never bettered. Don’t let that get you down though because this is a hell of a peak for rock’s innovation to go out on. Here come the cliches. Loveless was hazy sweet languidity with a noisy and chaotic undercurrent played with frenzied and laconic enthusiasm. Like the band’s name suggested a conundrum was at work here where apathy and hysteria were used to describe the same song. Did I say deliriously indolent? No? Well I have now. What about listless exhilaration? One tends to forget this record also fucking rocked as well as swimming in oceans of intoxicating euphoria, sometimes all at once. Oh yeah, Loveless is also pop music at its finest. Ecstatic aural pleasure at its Zenith.




Someone once commented 'Why didn't they do a whole side of the sort of stuff like Touched and the in between track hazy ambient gear?' That would have been great wouldn't it?


Best opening tune to an LP ever?

That's a good game: Best opening songs to albums. Simon should rally everyone for that can of worms.

* My original review taken from the HC Website. 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Royal Trux


There's a good 2 hour special here on Royal Trux, who were the most consistently great rock group of the 90s. This is a career retrospective of the band and Jennifer Herrema is interviewed throughout by Ajay(?).

Herrema has now got her own dublab show named after an old Royal Trux tune The Banana Question. There are 2 episodes so far and it's an amateurishly ramshackle affair with 80s hip-hop, metal, disco, classic rock etc. all sort of shabbily dub mixed. Quite entertaining. I imagine pro DJs will hate it.


Take the 90s Avant-Rock challenge here with Twin Infinitives. Hey, it took me a couple of years to realise this was a mental scuzzy masterpiece.


They started to get a bit more accessible after Twin Infinitives. Driving In That Car was a few years later from the great 1993 Cats & Dogs LP.


Morphic Resident is reaching almost FM worthy commerciality but they're still them. I'm pretty sure the story goes that the band handed over these tapes to Greg Archilla and he just did what he wanted with the mix. The band liked it and 1997's Sweet Sixteen was the result, another classic.


Another gem from Sweet Sixteen.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Massive Bass


That Safe From Harm bass is sampled from a Billy Cobham tune Stratus. It's only part Cobham's track where it comes in at the 3.05 mark but Massive Attack make it their whole tune here. It's like a warm blanket which befits the title of the song nicely!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Big Black & Stuff


I used to think this was a top tune/racket, still pretty good innit?. Those Big Black records were good as I recall. The Rapeman album and the first three Shellac 7"s I thought were classics back then, sure I haven't listened to them in years but old Steve had a bit of talent. I couldn't get fully into Shellac's debut album At Action Park so I didn't really follow his work after that. Dog And Pony Show is the outstanding tune I remember from that LP. He did a great job recording, producing, engineering (whatever he used to bloody call it) particularly on that first Breeders LP, Pod and of course Surfer Rosa from The Pixies. He recorded a million bands, most of which are probably not worth listening to. Steve produced some non angry men like Labradford and Low. He even produced a couple of good Australian bands ie. Crow and Dirty Three. One aspect of Albini's personality that really endeared me to him was that he was a huge Wildlife Documentary fan. Rock people didn't say shit like that in the 80s/90s. I thought that was pretty bloody punk or was it anti-punk? It certainly was not cool or in any way fashionable. I also liked Albini's writing. He might have been the reason I first got turned on to Slint's Spiderland as he wrote a review of it in the pages of Melody Maker, I'm pretty sure. He also produced their inferior debut Tweez. Come to think of it I'm pretty sure I read an article that Steve wrote where he went through a bunch of records he'd recorded and he slagged off Surfer Rosa. He was was just being honest, many thought he was a c***. You used to be able to just write what you thought back then and it was ok. Now all these sensitive little kittens would call him a bully or a troll, wankers! I think I'd rather be a c*** than a troll. Trolls just remind me of those stupid little dolls with pink hair.



Anyway enough words have been spilled onto pages about Albini and I'm not trying to get a job at Mojo so the reason he's being discussed here is because there's a recent podcast with a conversation between Albini and Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat and Fugazi. I was having a depressing Sunday and trying to take a nap so I thought 'Why the hell not? This might lull me into sleep'. Funnily enough the only time I ever saw Shellac was when they were supporting Fugazi at The Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne, perhaps in 93 or 94. Shellac were an incredibly impressive live unit, Fugazi were alright but I think I may have left during their set in search of a pub (no booze at these shows, god even the Puritans loved their booze). This podcast chat is a couple of old geezers reminiscing about the good ole days. One thing I didn't know was that MacKaye had done a project with Al Jourgensen, he of Ministry and immense drug taking fame. So that must have been weird because wasn't MacKaye straight edge? How on earth did they get along? Anyway I've never heard that record by Pailhead....I might check it out....nah I doubt it. Ian and Steve discuss recording, the UK, crashing at people's houses, Chicago, Touch & Go, Wax Trax, a mutual love of Adrian Sherwood, boring shit, more boring shit and there's plenty of arse kissing despite them being occasionally critical of one another. It wasn't as boring as I thought it might have been. I must admit I did nod off towards the end, hey it was long, they are musicians ie. they sometimes make good music but that doesn't mean they're dazzling conversationalists and geez...guess what? It's only part 1 apparently.

Anyway this goes out to Ant, my first blog member who loved his Fugazi back in the day and followed Shellac long after I did. Let me know what part 2 is like as I don't think I'll be downloading that one.

A better podcast featuring Albini sans tedious twat MacKaye is here. Albini discusses his love for Baseball and it turns out he's he's a celebrity poker player and lover of cats.


I loved this cover of Supernaut when it came on the radio in 91 but I don't even think I knew it was a Black Sabbath tune at the time. All I'd heard of Sabbath back in 91 was the Paranoid album which I had on a cruddy tape and on the other side was Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That's a strange combo but I guess they both became beloved by my rock brain. I can't say I was a Ministry fan, like my mates were but this is Jourgensen and co along with Trent Reznor on vocals. Now, I did not know that he was singing on this until yesterday. Is it true? and who really cares? I still like it despite being aware of the Black Sabbath version for like 20 years now. Steve Albini would hate it.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Lunatic Asylum Mix


I don't think I've posted this before maybe some blog I frequent has, I dunno, but I only converted this to mp3 today and geez I like. The first half in particular is gloomtastic and the second half is good too in gabbalerous/hard trancemania style. It's all hardcore. All trax are from Dr Macabre aka Renegade Legion aka Lunatic Asylum aka many other monikers. This is rave music for the Apocalypse. When he gives it a bit of kick early on in the set the bass drum is so fucking thick it's awesome. If you're happy when it rains this doomcore will have you in gloomy euphoria. Bring on the end.


This 3 cd set on Megarave Records from 1999 should be in every gloomcore freak's household. It has tunes from all his aforementioned aliases plus a few others like French Connection, Slut Burger, Negative Burn, Micibri and guests Rotterdam Terror Corps. This would be in my top ten single artist compilations of all time, he being Guillaume Leroux a French bloke.

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Horror The Gloom The Doom


Halloween isn't really a thing here in Australia, despite many attempts by consumerist architects to make it so. I hate it when it gets referred to as an American custom as it quite clearly emanated from Celtic tradition and probably has Pagan roots. Anyway it's a good excuse to get out some frightening and gloomy tunes. I could have posted a hundred or more of these doomcore/gloomcore gems but here's just a handful. 


This one from Marc Acardipane is from 2002 but I only discovered yesterday. One World No Future came out after the 90s heyday of doomcore techno but it's damn fine. There's probably still a bunch of artists creating replicas of the genre and trying to keep the faith today, like there are still drum n bass people etc. 




Frozen is an alias for Miro. I think Frozen only did the one EP, Soul Saver, from 1997 where both of these tracks come from. Miro had a bunch of other pseudonyms Stickhead, Reign, Jack Lucifer, Evidence, Hypnotizer and the list goes on. He made many fine records and continues to this day doing minimal, sometimes quite dark, techno under his name Miro Pajic.


This is another 90s bewdy from Miro Pajic under the alias Evidence. This was on his 1999 compilation Hardcore Made In Frankfurt, probably released a few years earlier on 12".


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

2015 - How Shit?


I've gotta say 2015 has got to be the worst music year since fuck before the 2nd World War, I reckon. I'm stuck in 90s musical zones (see above) myself and don't particularly care that my listening isn't drifting back to the now. In fact I want to stay right in those places when and where the possibilities seemed endless. Me and the Mrs discussed a furniture shop closing down near our house the other day and ended up in the terrain of "Is that it then? Music's finite so i guess furniture is too." I was saying how these retro interior design shops had become so uninspired and formulaic, why would anyone want to spend money on this new old shit when there's plenty of old shit anyway?. The retro eclecticism, of the products in these shops, is disappearing up it's own arse at an accelerating rate. Is it that no one is game enough to say right here's a new style? So we just continue down these tasteful but conservative aesthetic avenues? Nobody's killing their idols. There's way too much reverence. We lived through a modernist time but that has gone. Where are the generation gaps? The kids don't even want one. Teenagers don't seem to exist anymore, kids don't leave home until they're over 25 now. You used to leave home and disassociate yourself from your family and become a whole new you, severed from the past. Emma went to the Bowie exhibition in Melbourne last weekend and said there were kids sans parents there. I thought what the fuck? These youngsters are going back 40 years. In 1985 diggin the 60s seemed old but it had only ended 15 years prior. When I was 17 (by then we had Public Enemy, The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jnr., Acid House, Hip-Hop etc.) I wouldn't have been caught dead being interested in a culture that was 40+ years old. Strange days indeed.

*This is raw thought data that's still being processed in my mind.



**A retro curio in itself. First issued in 1971 (maybe the year I was born) on his Hunky Dory LP then was later released as a single in 1973 when Bowie had reached stardom. It became a massive hit in the UK.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Silver Apples Of The Moon - Laika

UK POST-ROCK TOP 14: PART 4

Fuck I loved this record when it came out in 1994. I was already into UK post-rock shit and just starting to get into jungle. I saw this as a terrific amalgam of the two. Maybe we didn't really need it but it was ticking all my aesthetic boxes at the time. I'd been big on Margaret Fiedler's previous band Moonshake since they had released the Second Hand Clothes EP in 1992 followed by the classic Eva Luna LP that same year. Big Good Angel from 1993 was the last Moonshake record to feature Fiedler and was a classic for her to go out on. I must admit I never followed them after she left. The Laika project had me very excited though. Along for the ride were ex-Moonshake bass player John Frenett and producer Guy Fixsen. Chuck in Lou Ciccotelli on percussion, My Bloody Valentine's Colm O'Ciosoig as a digital editor and even Louise Elliot from Australia's great Laughing Clowns on the sax & flute. How could you go wrong? You couldn't, Laika didn't!

Silver Apples Of The Moon kicks off with Sugar Daddy and you can feel the city streets with it's sampled noise, rain and trains. Then a sultry propulsive beat kicks in while classic 90s bleeps drift into the mix as Fixsen and Fiedler sing together. Fixsen, who had produced Moonshake, takes on a more prominent role here. As well as co-engineering, he co-writes every tune with Fiedler, sings, plays synth and other instruments including vibes, marimba, melodica, the sampler and even guitar. Laika were about unison whereas Moonshake had been about tension. Fiedler mirrors Fixsen (or is it the other way around?) taking on all the same roles in the band ie. engineering, sampling, playing all the same instruments etc. Next is The Marimba Song which has a trippy, tropical and Can-esque vibe. This tune introduced the band to the world as two versions of it appeared on their debut recording, the Antenna EP. Let Me Sleep has frenetic beats, unbelievable bass, spiralling layers of free sax/flute and a general air of cluttered urban space. Coming Down Glass is an ultra spaced out funky wind-up toy hip hop jam with flute squiggles. The whole thing sounds like it was recorded backwards.

If You Miss starts out oppressive before a vibraphone appears to brighten things up but then it flitters back to darker terrain and continues to fluctuate between the parallel universes of isolationism and blissed out ambience for the rest of the track. In the meantime the hypnotic beat maintains an amazing flow motion. 44 Robbers has Margaret rapping kinda awkwardly like Debbie Harry, taut guitar lines that sometimes veer off into noise, Pacific(state) Island soundz and an incredibly tight rhythm like The JBs. Red River could be a Moonshake tune with it's squalling sax, tense noisy guitar shapes, claustrophobic minimal bass and tumbling out of control beats. Honey and Heat is a mesmerising off kilter urban dub tune with see-sawing samples. The samples here are meticulously crafted and create an entirely unique peculiarity. Expansive rolling rhythms, loopy flutes, eerie samples, choppy guitars and Guy's whispered vocals all contribute to the strange twilight of Thomas. The delightfully jazzy, almost surf instrumental Spider Happy Hour brings proceedings to a close.

Like a lot of UK post-rock's lost generation a duality was at play on this album ie. alongside the urban intensity was also a swirling intergalactic vibe. This often gave the music a disconcerting feel which made you want to come back for more so you could experience the discombobulation again and again. On their next LP, Sound Of Sattelites, Laika would rocket off into the stars completely, leaving the squalor behind them in a vapour trail haze. Silver Apples Of The Moon is a time capsule of intersecting mid 90s musical zones. A real curio. 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

What's On The Hi-Fi Part $?


DJ Extreme - 1994 Jungle Volume 10
I can't seem to get out of 90s zones. This is a cracker of a mix. I've been working my way through DJ Extreme's mixes at Hardscore. Listened to all his 92 and 93 hardcore mixes and now I've reached Volume 10 of his 94 Jungle mixes. This is a fabulous trip into the 90s. We've got funky drummers, half-time bass lines, divas, ragga muffins, chipmunk traces, r&b dudes, sinister synth stabs, washes of ambience, drum splatters and just plain mental bass. This mix is worth it for the array of bass lines alone. You tend to forget that in amongst the euphoria of 90s hardcore a darkness lurked just as much. This mix contains big names like Dillinja, Ed Rush, Doc Scott and DJ Phantasy as well as 2nd and 3rd level playaz. Jungle was so good in 94 the B, C & D grade artists are fucking great too. The quality went deep and the beat science rewards were endless. Volume 10 isn't relentless with the beats, space has it's place here as well. Sometimes you think the darkness is going to envelope the whole set and the drums are going to conk out. That never happens though until the end, I guess. Big Ups to the Extreme.


DJ Extreme - 1994 Jungle Volume 9
Here's another DJ Extreme mix which is a bewdy too. This mix starts out with gold ie. DJ Dextrous & Rapid's Rapid. The House Crew, Tango, Marvellous Cain, Dillinja and D'Cruze all pop their heads up in this ace mix. I can't get enough of this shit and let me tell you there is a bounty of it at Hardscore. Time-stretching, remnants of hip hop, traces of 70s reggae, Ragga, Rave sirens, Amens, House, ethereal lulls, elastic booming bass, dubbed out divas, cymbal splashes, bleeps, mini ponds of euphoria, occasional swells of thick bass goo that leap into the drum n bass future and much more feature here. What's amazing is how different Volume 9 is from Volume 10 which is a testament to the genre's flexibility and breadth of vision and probably why the Hardcore Continuum would continue on for another decade before running out of steam. "They played that bloody Jungle music all night!" And why wouldn't you with choice tracks such as these.


The Church - Hologram Of Baal
Ever since Reynolds posted those Go-Betweens & Church film clips a week or two ago it has been hard to get out of these Aussie zones. You might have noticed I was/am quite the Church fan. I seem to have lost 1996's Magician Among The Spirits so I gave this another listen and wow what an underrated little gem this is. By 1998 they had probably lost at least half of their 80s fan base but that didn't mean they weren't still making legendary music. By this stage of the game we'd all ditched the paisley shirts and pointy shoes long ago but The Church continued on their merry way making druggy journeys into sound. I guess their only contemporaries at the time were Mercury Rev (a friend once described Yerself Is Steam as The Church meets Butthole Surfers), The Flaming Lips and Spiritualized. The Kranky label had been releasing psychedelic space rock for a while too by this stage but the Church weren't following trends. They just did what they did best and made one of their best LPs while they were at it. Hologram Of Baal is The Churchiest of 90s Church LPs. It solidified their 90s experimentalism while containing all of what made them great in the 80s making this an album of consolidation for the band. This LP is like a Church progress report of where they had come from, where they had been and where they were going. More gold.


BRICC BABY SHITRO - NASTY DEALER
Now this is a state of the art rap mixtape 2015 style. With most mixtapes you can usually tell which region of America it's coming from ie. Drill & Bop (Chicago), Ratchet (California) trap/weird (Atlanta/The South) etc. but Bricc Baby Shitro throws them all onto this mixtape making it hard to tell where he's emanated from. It makes sense then that he's from LA but now hanging out in Atlanta. Even though Bricc Baby's got a handful of producers here, the mixtape remains pretty cohesive. Having Young Thug on your mixtape is a blessing and a curse. Thugga will give your recording a higher profile but he's most certainly going to upstage you no matter who you are. That puts the starpower of Young Thug into perspective ie. no one in the rap game can come close to him and this has been the case since his 2013 classic 1017 Thug. Anyway this is a genre mixtape that considers the state of where hip hop is in 2015. You may not like having this plethora of rap sounds all in one place but it's almost definitive of the year or at least the decade in which it was made.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

On The Hi-Fi Part ??? - Jungle/Tech-Step Special


DA INFLUENCE MIX PART 1 - BASIC RHYTHM
I can't really remember how I found this mix. I'm not even sure who Basic Rhythm is but this is a mix of some choice mid 90s jungle cutz. Dillinja is in there and DJ Krust. Plus a whole bunch of stuff I've not heard, heard and can't necessarily id. 


TECHSTEPPIN - VARIOUS (EMOTIF RECORDINGS) 1996
Keeping the hardcore vibes going, I finally got a copy of Techsteppin. After re-appraising Tech-Step a while back when listening to the excellent No U-Turn comp Torque, I thought I'd check this out. While it's still got very faint traces of jazz (the darker side of 70s Miles Davis) there no lightness like there was was in in intelligent or jazzy jungle. Distress, claustrophobia and paranoia are at the heart of darkness in these tunes. Torque, released a year later, would pummel out any source elements of jazz in Tech-Step. Actually by the end of this cd that's pretty much what's happened anyway. This is Drum & Bass that's all about the bass. While the beats keep to an almost military-esque stringency like industrial but vaguely funky, the bass is like subterranean scud missiles breaking through the earth's crust. This thick bass goo hits you like a vengeful blow to the body. Techsteppin contains tracks from No U-Turn luminaries Ed Rush plus Trace & Nico under the aliases of Skyscraper and Rollers Instinct. I guess Doc Scott is like the godfather of Tech-Step who was from the original milieu of Darkside Hardcore (NHS EP, Here Come The Drumz etc.) and he shows up here with a sterling performance on Machines. His Tech-Step swarms, buzzes and drones with astonishingly ominous dread. Techsteppin's harsh urban nowhere reached a bleak dead end and I mean that as a compliment. This is another reason to prove that getting off the hardcore continuum around 1995/96 (which is what I did) was wrong. Get numb.

*"It's too purple. Reading that felt like someone doing a bad impression of you."

*Special comments from Mrs Space Debris. She doesn't pull any punches does she? She didn't appreciate me describing the bass as 'like underground thick pools of mutant goo'. So I rewrote it. Is she my new editor? I don't necessarily take purple as a criticism. I mean the best part of reading Melody Maker in 87/88/89 was the purple prose they used to excite me about the likes of Young Gods, AR Kane, My Bloody Valentine, Loop, Butthole Surfers etc. I was never disappointed when I got my hands on those records either.


PEARSALL PRESENTS SURGICAL SOUNDS - DOC SCOTT
Continuing on with the hardcore........Pearsall presents a mix of the aforementioned Doc Scott. This set includes Scott's remix work for the likes of System 7Spring Heel Jack and Goldie. Then we've got his own solo tunes plus those under the pseudonym Nasty Habits. Pearsall points out Doc Scott never phoned in his remixes, he makes them his own. Doc's own trax are even more outstanding. Another mix that's a bewdy from Mr Sonicrampage!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Re-Entry - Techno Animal

UK POST-ROCK TOP 14: PART 2

This is a fucking out and out (there) classic of absolute epic proportions. Jesus, was there ever a band name and album title more fitting? Never has a band sounded so primordial, cyberdelic and interstellar at the same time. What was happening sonically here was a journey through the stars that eventually reaches the atmosphere and crashes back to earth. This was infinite yet restricted all at once. Re-Entry was a hell of an artistic feat. Here we had Fourth World music taken beyond the stars and its limits. Techno Animal didn't just reference Jon Hassell (like MBV) they got him to play on two of the album's finest tracks. Real time playing was at a bare minimum here with only Hassell's trumpet and a couple of other instruments used. Then Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin abused those source sounds by pummelling them into shapes barely resembling their origins. The rest of the soundz come from samples that are so deformed there is no way of telling where they came from. Techno Animal get so lost in their machines that it feels like a miracle that they ever make it back out of them.

Today this double cd is still soo irresistible I can barely believe my ears. Re-Entry starts out astronomical and ends up depleted. While on paper it may seem like an absurd and potentially clunky smorgasbord of aural debris, somehow it comes out sounding fucking amazing. It's like they've stolen the soundtrack from a parallel universe. Jazz funk permutations, gonzoid sirens, buckled noise, malignant trumpets, bent hip hop, acid squelches, unsettling frequencies, out of shape drones and nightmarish mutant gamelan are all put through a demented cyber dub echo chamber. Phew...and that's just the first cd. Then on the second cd the beats slow down and dissipate into the polluted air of this vast desolate terrain. Tainted bells appear and a peculiar shape shifting tense ambience takes over. This is where dubbed out contaminated drone-ology reached perfection that remains unrivalled 20 years later. This is undoubtedly a masterpiece and quite possibly the best album of the 90s. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Evanescence - Scorn

UK POST-ROCK TOP 14: PART 1

Someone once niftily described Evanescence as Metal Box meets Bernard Hermann. That's way too neat a summation of the panoply of sonic experiences contained within this cd though. Evanescence was an incredible solitary sonic document of what musicians were attempting within these musical spheres at the time. Sure there is deep dub bass and spooky horror motifs but a whole lot more was going on here. While other UK Post-Rock groops like Stereolab, Pram and Laika were influenced by the great fluid Krautrock beats of Neu and Can, Scorn's beats were informed by hip hop. Along with darker ambient vibes they had traces of metal (Mick Harris & Nick Bullen were ex-members of the ferocious and funny metal band Napalm Death), goth, post punk, industrial, techno and drone-ology. The grooves are infectious and even sometimes mellifluous. Getting lost amongst these deep and heavy riddims is all part of the attraction of Evanescence. I recall being rather confounded upon first hearing this LP due to its musical juxtapositions and I guess, what I saw as contradictions, but that didn't last long as I kept coming back for more. The occasional vestige of a riff even drifts in now and then. Dread was a major part of original 70s dub reggae and on this recording Scorn certainly captured a unique British gloom. A doomed feel permeates the entire record. Unlike other ambient dub acts of the time this was not good time E-head chill out music. It had mysterious lulls into nightmarish worlds containing all the colours of the dark. Scorn at this stage were like a lethargic cousin to UK's darkside hardcore scene and a precursor to future genres like dub-step and hauntology. On Dreamspace Scorn even give us a bit of bass drum girth gabba/gloomcore style, which is fucking wicked. Exodus, one of the stand out tracks, was like a forlorn My Bloody Valentine with an ominous didgeridoo instead of an ecstatic flute. The lost generation of original UK post-rock were trying to push things forward and this LP stands as a testament to that vision to this day. It was quite an achievement and I kinda can't understand why a hundred groups didn't take up this as a blueprint but I guess the future was still up for grabs at the time and bands were forging their own identities, not wanting to be mere Scorn acolytes. The copyists and clones were gathering together over near or in the charts under the banner of New Wave of New Wave and Brit-Pop, nowhere near these outer regions.

Scorn's Evanescence is magic from the margins.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

UK Post Rock - The Lost Generation


In keeping with my recent recent posts about MainIce & Techno Animal I thought I'd go into a bit more detail on UK's Lost Generation of Post-Rock. Good ole Professor Reynolds was writing about these groups in the pages of Melody Maker from at least 1991 onwards. There's was an article in the 91 Christmas issue of Melody Maker with no byline that I assume was penned by Simon. It documented the first stirrings of a new (non)scene that included a bunch of disparate musical units committed to taking their music to the limits well away from the commercial alternative business of the time. Cranes were the hot topic with their 91 classic Wings Of Joy but they weren't what was soon to be called post-rock. They were a one off post-goth/industrial band with, and I quote 'a lush Scott Walker/Euro cabaret grandeur.' Anyway AR Kane's (forefathers of UK post-rock) label H.ark get a mention with their roster containing Papa Sprain & Butterfly Child. Kevin Martin's label Pathological rate a mention too with his own great band Techno Animal plus Oxbow (whatever happened to them?). Avant Yanks Cop Shoot Cop and Twin Infinitives era Royal Trux get thrown in the mix as well. But it was future post-rock icons Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis and Main who were the most celebrated/anticipated in this article as some kind of future saviours of what was still being called Avant-Rock. Two years later in 1993 the lost generation were still dubbed as Avant-Rock along with the speculative term Cyborg-Rock, which never really gained any traction. I guess weird non UK bands like Young Gods and The Boredoms would have fitted this category with relative ease. In the UK though more and more groups like Insides, EAR, Moonshake Scorn, Ice, Seefeel were displaying un-rock tendencies in a beyond rock context so this wasn't a classification that was to properly fit. Avant-Rock still implied that the genre was still rock'n'roll at its core despite innovations and modern tendencies. While half of what ended up being called Post-Rock still rocked in some mutant form, the other half was not so rockin. Hence the term Post-Rock making perfect sense.

The thing is this music was already under my skin so by the time Simon Reynolds came up with the term Post-Rock for these bands in an article for Wire magazine's May 1994 issue (reprinted in Bring The Noise pages 186-193) it kind of didn't really matter. I've never really thought about it before but I guess it was named in hindsight as the scene had been going for 3 or 4 years already. As is usually the case with these things a demise was on the way with only a few classics of the genre to be released after 1994. Post-Rock now also included the likes of O'rang, Laika, Flying Saucer AttackPram & Movietone. Parallels were being drawn to other artists on the outer musical limits like Paul Schutze, Jim O'Rourke, Thomas Koner, Aphex Twin, Eddie Prevost, Zoviet France etc. In an article in Melody Maker in July 1994 past artists were retroactively inducted into a post-rock hall of fame lineage from The Velvet Underground to Krautrock legends Neu, Faust & Cluster to Brian Eno to Post-Punk groups like PIL, Cabs and The Pop Group to 80s UK noise/bliss rockers from JAMC, MBV, Spaceman 3, Loop, The Cocteau Twins, AR Kane etc.

Post-Rock was all about samplers, drum machines, studios, effects, sequencers, jettisoning the guitar as a riff apparatus and integrating the techniques of dub, 70s Miles Davis, Can, hip-hop, ambient & techno into rock. Guitars were still sometimes used but in more of an unfamiliar and un-rock way. Mixing real time instrument playing with sampling was the raison d'etre for some which gave the recordings a really strange edge. Others opted for a wholly synthetic approach. This bunch of groups rarely sounded like one another, they were on the outside, went out into these zones alone and wore that status like a badge. Some were beat scientists, while others severed beats altogether and space was the place. Anyway that doesn't really sound like Explosions In The Sky does it? This UK shit was the shit! This was the sound of my bedroom in the early 90s while your more accessable rock/pop stuff (Shoegazers, Breeders, Pavement, Mazzy Star, Portishead etc.) from the era made it into the lounge rooms of the share houses I lived in at the time, Post-Rock was not embraced by all and remained in the ghetto of my bedroom (along with strange septic tanks like Slint, Trumans Water, Thinking Fellers Union 282 et al.). This parallelled how Post-Rock was pretty marginalised in the outside world too apart from Stereolab who were quite the cult band.....I suppose.

I think a top 14 of the original UK Post-Rock is in order. This is when the term made sense, meant something and the music was bloody great.

THE TOP 14
Hydra-Calm (compilation) - Main [1992]
Eva Luna - Moonshake [1992]
May - Papa Sprain [1992]
Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements - Stereolab [1993]
Iron Lung - Pram [1993]
Under The Skin - Ice [1993]
Quique - Seefeel [1994]
Hex - Bark Psychosis [1994]
Evanescence - Scorn [1994]
DI GO POP - Disco Inferno [1994]
Silver Apples of The Moon - Laika [1994]
Herd Of Instinct - O'rang [1994]
Further - Flying Saucer Attack [1995]
Re-Entry - Techno Animal [1995]


*The top 14 has just one record per artist.
These are in chronological order.
This list is by no means comprehensive.
Each of the top 14 will be featured in a future blog post.

**Stereolab, Flying Saucer Attack & Third Eye Foundation all released gems after 1995. I must admit I didn't really follow the next wave of  Post-Rock groups from the UK. I'm actually struggling to come up with any of their names beyond the Flying Saucer Attack affiliates Piano Magic, Crescent and Amp.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Sounding Lines

WHAT'S ON THE HI-FI PART 42


MORITZ VON OSWALD TRIO - Sounding Lines
Always avoided Moritz Von Oswald Trio as I read somewhere that they were like a jazz trio. For some reason the words 'Jazz Trio' make me feel a little bit sick which is funny because I'm not averse to a bit of jazz. I guess jazz trio brings to mind trad sax, scatting, drum solos etc. Not the ultra minimal and restrained voyages into rhythm and occasional faint bits of dissonance that make up Sounding lines. I mean I haven't listened to jazz in a long time (apart from 70s Miles Davis) but I was once really into John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Don Cherry and John's Mrs Alice. MVO Trio only really get about as jazzy as Can ever did. Speaking of Can there is quite a Can-esque feel to many of these trax. Some of Sounding Lines evokes the less furious side of 70s era Miles. The best parts though are when Moritz conjures his own Basic Channel vibes with 90s German stylee dub influenced techno like on the fabulous epic opening tune Sounding Line 1. Sounding Line 4 is classic ambient dub-tech that could have come straight off BCD except it has real drums. Even Hauntology is invoked on Sounding Line 5 (Spectre) with it's dreamy library electronics and slight faux jazz soundz, I didn't even know what it was called when those thoughts crossed my mind until I looked at the track listing and thought 'uh huh! I'm onto something there.' After a bit of library-jazz-funk, a drum machine appears along with some gaseous squelches on Sounding Line 7 and causes a ripple of nostalgia that makes you wanna get out those old Basic Channel tunes. This is an incredibly enjoyable microbic beat odyssey, quite the little surprise then that I'm really glad I checked it out. I didn't think it was gonna be anywhere near as good as it is. I might even go back and check out their other albums.

*Conjures, evokes and invoked all in the same bloody paragraph! Jesus Christ! What's with that?


ROME - Rome
So while we're feeling 90s zones, here's one I gave a spin recently after finding all those 90s German cds due to the Mego reissue of General Magic & Pita's Fridge Trax Plus. Anyway Rome aren't German but American and this came out on Thrill Jockey. During that rummage I came across other er...post-rock from America such as Cul-De-SacDirections In Music, Ui, Jessamine, Labradford, Tortoise, Bowery Electric & Sabalon Glitz. This is the only one to get any airtime so far (can't bring myself to listen to one song wonders Tortoise) and it complements the MVO Trio record perfectly as Rome were also a trio and the most dub influenced US post-rock group. This 1996 release is the only Rome album who came and went in a flash. I have no idea what happened to them after this. Their self-titled cd is quite the underrated little gem though. This is something along the lines of dub applied to US underground noise, making it a one off artifact. The music here is closer to Cabaret Voltaire and PIL's post-punk dub gloom than say US post-rock or German dub-techno though. Even that's not really a fair comparison as Rome were really fucking original and unique. I once read an article on Kevin Martin's dub noise band Ice in Lime Lizard in the early 90s and Rome were more along the lines of what I thought Ice were going to sound like. I can't believe how well this shadowy experimental dub un-rock stands up today. This LP is a terrific ghostly haze. Rome is forgotten but should perhaps be unforgotten. Now I'm wondering if they had any other releases worth checking out...I'm sure they had a 12" that never crossed my path plus a tune on Macro Dub Infection 2, otherwise I think that was it. At least they didn't hang around too long and get boring.

*It turns out Rome is unforgotten as this album was posted on the I Hate The 90s blog a few hours ago which I came across after writing this post while searching for other Rome material. The blog confirms there was just another 12" called Beware The Soul Snatchers where Rome were reduced to a duo plus they had a tune on the compilation In Memoriam Gilles Delueze on Mille Plateaux from 1996, which I never tracked down despite it being highly regarded amongst Wire writers at the time. I would suggest downloading Rome's Rome LP from i-tunes though where it's available but the elusive 12" isn't. Perhaps that shall remain a mystery to me till my dying day.

**Ice: I ended up really loving them. Under The Skin (1993) is one of my favourite records from the 90s and Kevin Martin's duo with Justin K Broadrick, Techno Animal, had a really amazing double cd Re-Entry from 1995.

***Don't get me wrong DJed the one classic song from Tortoise is a top tune. Its just that nothing else they did was ever as good. I mean did we need a lounge version of Slint's Spiderland that was the first Tortoise LP? Millions.... was DJed with a bit of math-rock and 90s electronica filler  chucked in. Then, I dunno, wasn't TNT a muzak version of Steve Reich's Music For 18 MusiciansJohn McEntire from Tortoise did an incredible remix of Stereolab's Les Yper Yper Sound though, which featured on the choice 1996 Virgin compilation Monsters, Robots & Bugmen.

The mysterious Rome 12" eludes me.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Fridge Trax Plus - General Magic & Pita

What's On The Hi-Fi Part 41


FRIDGE TRAX PLUS- GENERAL MAGIC & PITA
Never had this one back in the day. I saw Pita live once that was odd and I had that General Magic album Frantz. So this 2015 reissue features both the original Fridge Trax (95) EP plus the Live & Final Fridge (96) cd. These sounds originate from microphones in fridges. It really compliments my recent Conrad Schnitzler and Ekoplekz listening. My own fridge sometimes sounds like it has got a groaning man inside and on other occasions it sounds like there's a party going on in there. Maybe I should record it as a tribute to these Mego guys. Anyway they fucked with the fridge source recordings and made two classics of 90s electronica (for want of a better term). 90s electronic abstract goodness. Delve deep into the ambient, rhythmic, almost funky and strange droning netherworld of fridges. This is pretty awesome stuff.


FRANTZ - GENERAL MAGIC
All this of course has led me back the aforementioned debut cd from General Magic, Frantz. I even found an old Farmers Manual cd I'd pretty much forgotten about, FSCK. On this mission I also came across more old cds made by Germans in the 90s like Oval, Lithops, Pluramon. Wabi Sabi, Hecker, Microstoria and Mouse On Mars, but i haven't listened to those yet except one. Anyway Frantz is surprisingly a great listen today. I can't stand the use of the word abstract in music writing. Sometime in the 90s its usage became overused and lost its meaning in the process. In the 90s Frantz and Fridge Trax would both have had this term applied to them ad nauseum by the critics of the day. Anyway General Magic are coming from abstract 70s Schnitzler zones whether they were aware of him or not. This is low key electronic ambient soft noise with added randomness. 90s technoid vibes mix with historical electronic music flavas here. General Magic play with these soundz to a microscopic degree giving it a peculiar scientific almost muzak vibe 90s stylee. This cd is hard not to like, in fact I think it has risen in my estimation since 1997. Frantz has gone from forgotten little gem to a classic of 90s electronic zones.


IT ISO 16191975 - HECKER
This is the other 90s German thing I did give a little listen to. Florian Hecker, who I also saw live once and I vaguely recall it being a pretty good show with lots of visual glitchy super 8 film sort of stuff. The visual element really added to the soundz. Listening to IT ISO 16191975 today without any visual accompaniment is a strange experience. I can't really recall what I made of this cd at the time but I guess that glitch aesthetic was all the rage back then before it got totally overdone a couple of years later. I was left a little flummoxed by it all yesterday, I must say. Hey that's probably a compliment if art is still doing that 17 or so years after its creation. It starts out with +1 which is 7 minutes of barely audible hums and drones. +2 is slightly louder with its minute drones, miniature oscillator feedback and subtle short wave sounds that are manipulated glitch stylee. +4 could be rain or static for the first two minutes then a dub glitch vibe ensues with sound sources untraceable. Maybe there's a note from a keyboard in amongst the rumbling silence. Pop music this sure ain't. This is difficult listening that could also be ignored unless you really pump up the volume high on your sound system. Get flummox reward points here.


ELEMENTS OF CHANCE - IAN BODDY
Jonny over at Die Or DIY? (see right hand side Other Stuff) alerted me to this classic tape from 1981 by Ian Boddy. Boddy was a UK analogue synth chap doing Kosmische electronics past their use by date, some classic early drum machine action plus a bit of minimalism too. Elements Of chance takes in new age type vibes and dark ambient noises as well. You could slap a Panabrite label on here and I would be none the wiser. I mean that in the best possible sense for everyone mentioned! This is very good stuff. There is another Boddy tape posted over there as well, looking forward to listening to that.


O.M.M.I.O.2 - RJ
DRILLUMINATI 3 - KING LOUIE
INTROVERSION - STARLITO
I don't know what has happened to my appetite for rap? I thought this one might get me back into the swing of things from the mean streets of the USA but I'm not fully diggin II but it certainly has many a fine moment. It opens on a particularly high note with Blue Face Hinnids where the sounds of Mustard, HBK Gang & Larry Jay are becoming so intertwined I don't even know who's on the beat here, it could be someone else entirely? It's probably not RJ's fault that my vibe has migrated away from these zones. II sounded like a fuckin masterpiece (well it's kinda 3/4 of one really anyway) next to King Louie's new one Drilluminati 3 and he's been one of my favourite rappers of the last few years. I was a fan of Drilluminati (1) so it's hard to believe I immediately deleted this but that's what happened. Free stuff eh? See maybe if Drilluminati 3 wasn't free I'd probably have bought it and then spent more time with it due to the financial investment. This may not have improved the actual contents but it may have given it time to grow on me. Having said that I've just had one quick listen to Starlito's new Introversion and it sounds alright. Two out of Three ain't bad so maybe I'm not done just yet with the rap game.

Monday, 25 May 2015

90s Classic Rock Radio


* RE: Classic 90s Rock Radio at Retromania. When I first heard this tune I was confused by the fact that it was obviously metal but it had incredibly melodic bits which reminded me of REM backing vocals. Anyway they ended up being one of the few Seattle bands I liked in the end. Over the years they grew in my estimation and are now seen by me as the premier 90s Seattle band as opposed to Mudhoney who funnily enough I can't stand anymore but were one of the few Seattle groups I liked at the time. Let's face it Ratcat were way better than those drab old geezers plus we already had The Cosmic Psychos, The Hard Ons, The New Christs, feedtime, Kim Salmon, King Snake Roost, Lubricated Goat etc. in Australia. We also had a great bunch of Detroit influenced rock bands in the 70s and 80s. What good were a z-grade Stooges to anyone here. We didn't need it! Our scuzz was better than their scuzz. I suppose I would probably still quite like Screaming Trees but haven't listened to them in a very long time. Two Christmases back we (me, my wife & her mum) watched Nirvana Unplugged and Alice In Chains Unplugged back to back and it was no contest, Alice In Chains won hands down. Nirvana were alright but what struck me most, apart from Cobain's youthful good looks, was that they were one of the least unique rock bands in history. I guess this shouldn't have surprised me because when I first heard them pre-Nevermind I thought they were pointlessly generic. After the outlandish excitement of Husker Du, The Replacements, The Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., Butthole Surfers, Sonic YouthThe Pixies et al. Nirvana seemed a bit clueless and a little dull like a second rate Buffalo Tom. I thought time may have been kinder to them but no they were way more record collection rock than say Primal Scream. Don't get me wrong either I don't hate Primal Scream at all, I love Screamadelica, gee I've just realised what a great LP title that is. Good record collection rock = Pavement's Slanted & Enchanted (may have to give it another listen just to make sure) and She Hangs Brightly by Mazzy Star. Bad record collection rock = Blur, Nirvana, Oasis, You Am I, and so so many I can't remember.



Can't believe how good this still sounds. Momentous early 90s dance/rock masterpiece.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ekoplekz - Reflekzionz

Loving that artwork and the music contained within
A new month must have ticked over because hello we've got a new Ekoplekz release. I couldn't sleep, went on the interweb, saw Reflekzionz was coming out. By chance I checked i-tunes and they had it available a week or so early. I couldn't wait for the physical copy, being the instant gratification era and all, several clicks later walla! the album was sitting in my i-tunes and my earphones were sitting in my ears. How was I meant to get back to sleep after that? My excitement levels were high and 3 hours later Refekzionz was still swirling around in my brain. Thank god it wasn't a work night. Then I started hearing chooks. I had to give it a rest. These 12 trax at 54 minutes will be released on Planet Mu as a double LP. Something had to interrupt my Conrad Schnitzler obsession. Of course this recording led me back to current music in a very smooth manner as Nick Edwards aka Ekoplekz would probably be a big fan of Schnitzler's. While I mentioned in my article on solo 70s Schnitzler that he had an immense spatiality in his music, as large as King Tubby's, on the 1978 classic Con, that didn't mean Conrad was informed by or using similar techniques to Mr Osbourne Ruddock aka King Tubby. Mr 'Ekoplekz' Edwards however does come from from a dub lineage that was probably picked up from the likes of 70s Cabaret Voltaire who probably were into King Tubby and dub in general. I guess the feel here is more like post punk stylee dub filtered through German 90s dub-tech like the Pole/Basic Channel/Chain Reaction milieu. I guess they're interesting parallels caused by my own recent listening habits but funnily enough it's all fairly closely related in a coincidental manner to Ekoplekz and his new LP.

Opening tune A Caustic Romance continues Ekoplekz's foray into melodic idylltronic zones albeit over a gritty but almost cute clipped industrial-lite beat. Quakers Road Skank is awesome robotic electronics. Seduktion is radiophonica funk that sounds like it was recorded in the emptiest place in the universe giving it an uncanny hollowness. Repeater (How did it feel?) is as fucking good as classic ambient dub tech gets. Downtone is wintry technoid dub with amazing bass tones bringing the foggy darkness in close and those rudimentary beatz feel like their trying to warm up but their coal's running low and there's no 50 P's for the meter. The classic British isolationism, with extra synth squelches, of Midnight Cliffs is next and it couldn't have a more perfect title.

Tremulant is a slice of ye olde Ekoplekz with its alien warfare dub splatter but as has been recently noted Edwards now has his once outta control machines in line and almost compliant to his every command. Dubnium 268 is a dark techno ditty but kind of playful at the same time. On this tune and at several other stages during Reflekzionz I'm taken back to my Cologne days in the 90s. In an unusual moment of zeitgeist there has been an article over at FACT, I noticed, on the likes of some of my 90s Cologne faves ie. Mouse On Mars, FX Randomiz etc. Maybe Ekoplekz is trendy now. Canon's Marsh is is a marvellous piece of technoid minimalism with curious reverbed drones that leave you slightly mystified as to what that felling you've been left with is. That's quite a remarkable artistic achievement. Ominous transmissions create an insidious intensity on Black Calkz. The machines here sound as though they could run out of power any second as a power surge is imminent and the circuits feel like they're about to burst. Saturation (Full Rinse) is an Ekoplekz banger! Nick Edward's has been heading towards this zone for a while and perhaps he's finally achieved this goal ie. a tune that could get played out. Just as you're thinking that though his erratic machines, who have been acquiescent throughout the entire LP, seem to have a sinister plot to sabotage his plan, by being contrary and slowing the bpms right down toward the end. Day In May is glowing sunshine one minute and pastoralism gone awry the next which brings Reflektionz to a close.

Halfway through like the 2nd listen I was beginning to wonder if this was perhaps a concept album or some kind of tribute/homage to the 90s. Even in this review I've used the word classic several times. The thing is with Ekoplekz is he could never pull off a homage record, like say Urge Overkill's Saturation where they recorded brilliantly perfect facsimiles of some of their favorite 70s stadium rockers like Kiss, Cheap Trick etc., because with Ekoplekz it will always be Ekoplekz. You may have been able to detect Cluster or Cabaret Voltaire influences previously (probably still can) but it's never a straight copy because he's always reshaping sounds and experimenting. He uses their ideas as much if not more than their actual sonic artillery. That's probably not a good way to make millions of bucks but his idiosyncrasies will always endear him to original music fans. When I think of Ekoplekz I don't usually think of the 90s much, I mean sure a bit of techno but to me that's like 15% of his shtick. A reactivation of several 70s approaches to music but with a here and now experimental feel is how I have him pegged in my brain. Experimenting, moving along, not giving a fuck about fashion and well just making cool dub inflected electronic music is what Ekoplekz are all about. The first song A Caustic Romance could be a dead giveaway ie. Is this referring to his love for Aphex Twin's alias Caustic Window? I mean I'm sure he listened to some of the same gear we all did in the 90s like rock, house, bleep, hardcore, ambient dub, techno, jungle, trip hop, darkside, electronica, isolationism, gabber, trance, tech-step, speed garage, post-rock, pop and whatever else I can't think of right now. It just hasn't seeped through so much until this LP. Maybe next month we'll have a bizarre take on music from the 00s by Ekoplekz. Not sure he'll have much to work with there. Perhaps he could go back further to say the 60s. Anyway he's on quite a roll isn't he? This is his 3rd fine double LP in 12 months then there have been mini albums, EPs...


*On Twitter I got a reply from the man himself. See below.