Expanding on the previous format of our ‘Reviews…in Brief’, we have decided to give you guys a brief overview of what we’ve found interesting in the world of electronic music this month. So we’ll be covering releases, events, announcements and news. Check it out!
WHP & Field Day Present… Curated by Four Tet & Caribou @ The Warehouse Project (02/11/13)
As is to be expected from these two electronic luminaries, the line-up they put together really pushed the boundaries and incorporated such a wide variety of genres. This meant one minute you were embracing Midlib’s experimental hip hop with your meanest head nod, the next you were fist pumping to punishing techno from Ben UFO, the next it was heads down steppin’ with Iration. The two highlights of the night for me were Thom Yorke’s impressive performance, which was exactly as erratic and laced with those famous moves as you could hope for, and Four Tet and Daphni going back to back to finish off the night. Also, fuck DOOM for not turning up.
Zed Bias – Boss LP Review (SWAMPLP002)
Zed Bias is a true ‘jack of all trades’ producer; boasting the ability to create deep complex 115bpm slow house to upbeat excitable garage (e.g. ‘Neighbourhood’) all the way to dark and ambitious dubstep. When I heard he was announcing an album on Swamp81, I knew it would be impressive.
‘Boss Skank’ incorporates some of the hardest hitting kick snare combinations I’ve heard in music. The layering on the 4×4 beat creates a depth few artists can manage and combined with his use of rolling bass notes this piece really is a boss skank. ‘Ye’ is much ‘swampier’ than most of Zed Bias’ usual work, integrating big bass with offbeat claps and cow bells; that true swamp sound. The final song I’m going to mention is a collaboration with Chunky ‘We’re There’, which again adheres strictly to the dark techno swamp vibes while still keeping the upbeat elements Zed holds so dear. The rest of the album is a modern masterpiece and with the collaboration from ‘Roy Davis Jr’ on there, there isn’t one that stands out as the best, simply because they are all so interesting. Check it out now!
Purchase available here: http://boomkat.com/vinyl/844050-zed-bias-boss
Genetix – Genetix Part 3 Review (Bfr013)
The long awaited third Biscuit Factory EP from Genetix has finally hit stores, carrying that full frontal mid-range attack we’ve all come to expect. The first track, ‘Bandicoot’ is bursting with imagination, containing all the Crash Bandicoot sounds you’d ever want to hear, filling you with nostalgia. ‘Killzone’ has been one of my personal favourites since Genetix dived into the deeper side of dubstep; a perfect roller filled with surging power. Whereas ‘Elevation’, is much more of a stepper, taking a minimalistic approach. ‘Surface Tension’ concludes the EP, again engaging you with the rolling structure, supported by a robust under growling sub bass. Everything the pair produces is immense, and this EP certainly doesn’t let off.
Purchase available here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/genetix-part-3-ep/id730324187
Objekt – Objekt #3 Review
Objekt has left it over two years to add to his white label series but it’s back and just as challenging as ever. Objekt has a true ability to push the limits of techno, he adopts aspects currently in vogue within the scene and amplifies them almost to the point of caricature. On ‘Agnes Demise’, he starts off with mechanical clicks and pulses but it’s the interlude from the two and a half minute mark that really leaves an impression with its warped sounds which would sound at home in a psychological horror movie. ‘Fishbone’ utilises 2-step rhythms and builds into a driving sci-fi roller.
Purchase available here: http://boomkat.com/vinyl/829126-objekt-objekt-3
DJ Mag’s Best of British 2013
Dj Mag have just announced the nominees for their annual ‘Best of British’ awards which takes a much less top 40 approach and instead looks for those really making an impact on the UK underground scene. Here’s who we think should win some of the categories:
Best Producer – Dusky
Best Remix – Boddika & Joy Orbison ‘Mercy (Boddika VIP)
Breakthrough Producer – Tessela
Best Radio Show/Podcast – Gilles Peterson (BBC 6 Music)
Head on over to your website and have your voice heard:
In:Motion Presents: Trap Mag/Idle Hands/Donuts @ Motion, Bristol Review (08/11/13)
This was probably the best line-up for underground house and techno in the whole In:Motion series this year. The main room was pounded by pulsing techno and off kilter rhythms throughout with Pearson Sound, Boddika, Happa and Trevino ys Pangaea all bringing the noise. Bloggers wet dream, LIES records took over the tunnel to supply a constantly evolving spectrum of predominantly house but with plenty of offshoots into other genres. Other than Floating Points having to pull out, this night was close to perfect with sterling sets offered by all those involved.
Akkord – Akkord Review (HTH015)
Houndstooth are off their heads; there is no other way to put it. With Special Request’s ‘Soul Music’ still getting daily plays on my iTunes, the Akkord EP rapidly followed and I knew it would promise another round of disjointed musical mastery. The 10 track LP is packed with remarkable music, ranging from 85pm right up to 155, it’s a good representation of what they have been producing recently. ‘Conveyor’ sticks out from the crowd though; it’s ominous pulsing synth cracking out across a truly unique and very ‘Akkord’ sounding drum pattern.
‘Torr Vale’ is a stripped back and slowed, dark atmospheric piece with essences of euphoric synths throughout, a really good intro song. ‘3dOS’ is as weird as its name, the rolling bass and short tempered kick drums make for one of Akkord’s most upbeat tunes to date.
Purchase available here: https://bleep.com/release/47356-akkord-akkord
Sub Faction 2nd Birthday with DJ Madd & Anex @ The Underground, Stoke (22/11/13)
In celebration of their 2nd Birthday, Sub Faction hoisted Hungarian maestro DJ Madd and Nottingham’s finest, Anex to get the party rocking. As always the residents all unravelled killer sets, filled with a variety of dubs, surreptitious blends and of course some of the top tracks around at the minute – my personal favourite of the night being ‘Commodo – $pace Cash’.
DJ Madd lay out a selection of dubby plates, giving the Red Eye Hi-Fi sound system something to roar about and joyfully engaging the crowd. His set contained everything you’d have expected, going from the dub elements to the more minimalistic side of his productions, with tracks like ‘Burning Dance’ receiving the go ahead. Anex was next up and certainly didn’t disappoint, playing a fairly abstract/unpredictable set, with tracks everyone knew, yet hadn’t expected to hear. The night ended in complete harmony and togetherness as everyone cohered to sing Happy Birthday to Sub Faction, in what was another top night for the SF family.
5127 – Paul Woolford and Javeon @ The Thekla, Bristol Review (22/11/13)
5127 always promises a fun night out with its weekly Friday night residency at Thekla in Bristol. The main attraction of this night is the free entry before 11pm, which considering the consistently impressive line ups is a real eye-catching price. Tonight saw Javeon and Paul Woolford rock the boat; with residents playing before, after and on the upstairs deck. Javeon came on first for half an hour of a set which while not particularly my usual taste in music, was still enjoyable.
Paul Woolford treated us to an hour and a half of precisely mixed and immensely varied house, techno, hardcore and everything in between. I was worried as he was not playing under the Special Request alias he would shy away from it, however he fit in his murder mix of ‘Renegade Master’, his VIP of the now legendary ‘Hackney Parrot’ and ‘Body Armour’ from his acclaimed album ‘Soul Music’. The rest of his set featured a really interesting set of songs; the acid house was especially appreciated.
Chord Marauders – Groove Booty Vol. II Review
The Chord Marauders are back with the second instalment of Groove Booty; again containing tracks from the usual suspects Geode, Congi, B9 and Jafu but also with the delightful additions of both Gerwin and Trashbat. From top to bottom the tracks contain beautifully crafted chord patterns and that authentic approach the collective have become so well known for. Although it’s so difficult to choose, ‘She’ and ‘Final Contact’ would be my picks of the bunch as they are filled with imagination and packed with creativity. There really is nothing out there that matches what these guys are pushing at the minute, supplementing listeners with tracks bursting with stimulation.
Purchase available here: http://www.chordmarauders.com/releases/groove-booty-vol-ii/
Written by Andy Brennan, Drew Jones and Michael Thomas