"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"
Showing posts with label minimal techno. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minimal techno. Show all posts

Monday, 21 December 2009

Shifting past

Anyone with a Mille Plateaux release in their past (never mind featuring on one of the Clicks & Cuts) gets a hearing here. & while the first of the tracks on Donnacha Costello's new On Shifting Sands does little for these ears, Time In Between's unusual retrofusion of yearning IDM-ish keys & skippy dubsteppy tropes is more diverting.

Diverting enough to hunt out more of Donnacha's output - in which the reverberating Zhana's clicky kinetics stand out (though an edit of its 11-minute lavishness wouldn't hurt...).

> Time In Between (from On Shifting Sands, self-released) > Zhana (Minimise)

NB: lo-res versions for personal use - "We give MP3s away at 128kbps for home listening. Yes! FREE MUSIC! You can buy 320kbps MP3s and 16bit 44.1k wavs at Beatport. 128kbps is absolutely NOT SUITABLE for club play so don't even think about it! If you like the music and want to play it in a club, do the right thing, head over to Beatport and keep food on our plates and love in our hearts :-)"

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Unheard & unheard of

Predictably lovely, Pantha du Prince's new The Splendour may be - in both its loveliness & its predictability - one of the less vital parts of next year's Black Noise (on Rough Trade). Certainly, while Splendour is replete with PdP's distinctive subtleties (especially poise - an often exquisite balance between movement & langour or melancholy & drive that's mirrored in all those rippling, poetic chimes, pads & bells over their clipped pulse), it is the other Black Noises exposed so far that really excite.

The tiny sliver of Wald available (hear it below) stands out as a straining, bowed call to arms. While I'm no doubt one of those dumb animals that barely perceives 'black noise', I sense in the title track's high frequency tone a welcome ambition to do more than refine the formula.

Meanwhile, the epic Behind the Stars is notable for its vigour & even roughness - a degree of imperfection showing a refreshing & unfamiliar taste for, er, rough trade...

Rough Trade blurb: "Pantha Du Prince, who lives in Berlin and Paris, who lives in Berlin and Paris, claims: music slumbers in all matter; any sound, even silence, is already music. The mission, then, must be to render audible what is unheard and unheard of: black noise, a frequency that is inaudible to man. Black noise often presages natural disasters, earthquakes or floods; only some animals perceive this “calm before the storm.” Black noise is something archaic and earthy. The music on Black Noise balances precariously on the slippery threshold between art and nature, between techno and folklore, which lends it a certain spectral and intangible aspect."

Pantha du Prince > The Splendour (from Black Noise, forthcoming [February 2010] on Rough Trade)

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Elastic tension

The Bundeskanzlerin must be putting something into the water. Leaving aside remasters like Kraftwerk's, 2009 has brought a raft of great new music from apparently reinvigorated Old Masters of several generations of German electronica: the Moritz von Oswald Trio's Vertical Ascent, Mark Ernestus' remix of Tortoise's Gigantes, Jelinek/Leichtmann/Pekler's Groupshow (& here) & Cluster's Qua are just a few prominent examples.

Robert Henke's Monolake project belongs in this elite company too. "Monolake is about complexity, about details, about the elastic tension between beats in the foreground and textural elements in the background."

Three outstanding releases this year - Silence, Atlas Titan & Atlas T++ Remix - are testimony to its vigorous health 13 years on from those pioneering Chain Reaction 12"s (& over 20 since Henke first met Gerhard Behles via Wieland Samolak).

Atlas' energy & atmosphere take a different, more distant turn in the glistening, dense rain of T++'s version (extended by his more abstract Test#10Seed_Bit, "based on nothing"). The cavernous Titan, meanwhile, is something of a dub techno masterclass.

But Silence surprises most. Far from the wispy, ethereal set suggested by its name, its relentless, punchy motion flogs a wealth of found sounds ("field recordings of airport announcements, hammering on metal plates at the former Kabelwerk Oberspree, Berlin, several sounds captured inside the large radio antenna dome at Teufelsberg, Berlin, dripping water at the Botanical Garden Florence, air condition systems and turbines in Las Vegas, Frankfurt and Tokyo, walking on rocks in Joshua Tree National Park, wind from the Grand Canyon, a friends answering machine, a printer, conversations via mobile phones, typing on an old Macintosh keyboard and recordings from tunnel works in Switzerland") into a spare, vital whole - in which whirring zither & click-drum make a kind of continuing marker.

Silence production notes (II): "The music on this album has not been compressed, limited or maximized at any production stage. Why not? Once upon a time, music had dynamics. There were loud parts, and there were more quiet parts. Then came radio. In radio there is a technical limit for the transmittable maximum volume. As a consequence the average level of music with a high dynamic range is lower than the average level of music with a low dynamic range. The loudest possible music in radio is music where every element is constantly hitting the limit, music with no dynamics at all. Radio, and more recently mp3 players and laptop speakers influenced the way popular music is composed, produced and mastered: Every single event has to be at maximum level all the time. This works best with music that is sonically simple, and music in which only a few elements are interacting. A symphony does not sound convincing thru a mobile phone speaker, and a maximized symphony does not sound convincing at all.

Monolake is about complexity, about details, about the elastic tension between beats in the foreground and textural elements in the background. We want to preserve that balance as much as possible in the final product and this is why the music on this album is produced without applying any compression.

About the mastering: Mastering was done entierly in the anolog domain, using a selection of vintage and high end EQs running at 'hot levels'. This implies there is a certain degree of saturation going on in very loud parts due to electrical characteristics of the tubes, transistors and audio transformers involved, but that's it as far as nonlinear behaviour is concerned."

LMYE hacks of monolake.de's samples from the releases into a couple of user-friendly tasters are below. Obviously, after hearing them you'll be rushing out to buy the lot...

On the way, savour the site's many treats. Its host of free downloads include a recommended piece from former Monolake member & Atlas remixer T++ (Therefore_Version 5) & a live encounter between Henke and Hauntologist/Cheap & Deepster Jay Ahern (Termulator X Live in Belgrade).

It also goes some way to suggest Henke's considerable hinterland - his art installations, his pioneering work with software & his deep thinking about sound (check out the fascinating interview between Henke & mastering, er, master Rashad Becker).

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Neither being nor non-being

Put on the spot about the dancefloor preferences of the great post-structuralists, most of us'd probably plump for Michel Foucault over Jacques Derrida when it comes to an inclination for minimal techno. Nonetheless, Hauntologists is, in its mysterious way, an impeccably Derridean conceit - barely there (a group whose only 'presence' is a Twitter account, more or less uniquely), two-sided ('produced in Duesseldorf & Berlin') & named for one of Jacques' portmanteaus...

Quite sincerely, I've no idea how much - if anything - to read into these Derridean trappings. Perhaps it's enough to simply say Hauntologists is To Rococo Rotter/Mapstationist/September Collectivist Stefan Schneider collaborating with Monolake co-conspirator Jay Ahern on minimal techno.

But East Germany is one of several huge spectres haunting modern Germany, of course. & there's a host haunting today's techno too...

In Hauntologists' case, there's also the 'other' of Schneider's extensive body of work (a long-standing LMYE enthusiasm - see here & here, among others). But I hear fairly little of those groups' idiosyncracies here.

Instead, we're mostly in austere, intensely reduced post-Basic Channel territory, with an unexpected, quite refreshing tendency towards - yes, really! - acid...

Hauntologists > B1 (from EP 1, Hardwax) > A1/EP 2 Samples [LMYE hack] (from EP 2, Hardwax) > Live (Part 1)

Hear other EP tracks in full at last.fm, by the way...

Sincere thanks to Jay for his help.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

"the ant-eater trying to play its tail?"

A kind of jazzy restlessness of styles, wrapped in a cloak of anonymous pseudo-mystery: Hassellian smears, tin-can rattle, martial clump, droney gesture, unhinged, echoey oscillations, & even an occasional cheery, riffy groove...

Oni Ayhun > OAR001-A [sample] > OAR001-B [sample] (both from OAR001, self-released) > OAR002 [sample] (from OAR002, self-released) > OAR003 samples [LMYE hack] (from OAR003, self-released)

Thanks to mnml ssgs for the tip.

"OA’s music is (about) drama. OA makes records that combines disturbed dance music on the border to insanity with free dreamy drone stories without a beat. Like a surrealistic musical with a narrative based on associations, abstractions and confusions, the music is a journey through different settings and scenes. Each record features a handmade engraving, unique for each release.

OAR001-A, is an attempt to tame cheesy fusion-jazz into a new free fusion between sharp electronics and organic textures, elastic funk and rubber set in an odd shady environment. Is it a big animal playing its nose, a beast, or is it the myth about the ant-eater trying to play its tail?

OAR001-B, is it the bees humming about their life by the concrete factory? Or is it about the people living under acid rain singin their story? Or is it just diary notes from OA’s everyday life..?"

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Expanded reification

Should have known better: yesterday's post dredged up a batch of neglected tastiness from LMYE over the past year, but still failed in its goal of bringing exposure to one of the previously untagged tracks.

Bugge Wesseltoft's hefty live collaboration with Sidsel Endresen & Nils Petter Molvaer on the staggeringly lovely River had the wrong sampling frequency last time out (gnashes teeth, wails). Still, it's now been crimped back accordingly - & is definitely worth your time, however galling the carnival of re-ups from here...

Bonus tracks (all from artists featured yesterday): Bugge Wesseltoft > Somewhere in Between (from New Conception of Jazz, Jazzland)

Bugge et al (Aissa Tåby/Audun Erlien/Thomas Strønen/Elouar Michy) - Never Met Before (Live at Belleville Oslo)

Audion > I Am the Car (from I Am the Car, Spectral Sound)

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Upwards reification

Add a new one to the charge sheet of LMYE's many iniquities & inadequacies: never mind self-importance, over-writing, infrequent posting, ill-defined coverage & a hair-shirted stance on unauthorised music, our tagging sucks.

A batch of tracks posted here in the last year have lacked the right ID3 tags to get picked up properly by blog aggregators. There may well be others even more ineptly managed, but this lot are verified.

So in a spirit of enlightened masochism (!), here they are again (with the usual painfully sincere apologies to subscribers for re-upping) - but better this time, hopefully...

Friday, 24 April 2009

Erupting Light

Icelanders may have to down their Blackberrys and get back on the trawlers to pay off that hefty debt but they can still produce some fine tunes in the meantime. First up, an austere cello piece entitled Erupting Light from new album Without Sinking by Hildur Gudnadottir. The second offering is a minimal dubby techno track Coconut Rice from Icelandic producer Yagya. The track is available on the Intellingent Toys 5 compilation at net label Sutemos. Yagya's new release Rigning is out now and thanks go to blog Headphone Commute for featuring both artists recently.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Delayed reaction

Fascinating, schizophrenic, fecund: in at least as many guises as Martin Juhl, Sasu Ripatti continues to scrape & click & blur & wash his way through an astounding, outstanding body of work - so rich & endlessly interesting his involvement even redeems AGF/Delay's post-pop... 

Ahead of the Moritz von Oswald Trio LP (Sasu on drums as Vladislav Delay) - now due in June, apparently, & a shoo-in for LMYE album of the year [er, if we had one] - a few tastes: 

Vladislav Delay > Lumi (from Whistleblower, Huume/Intelligent Toys 4, Sutemos)
                                > Ramaat (from Multila, Huume re-release)
                                > Ele (from Ele, Sigma Editions)
                                > The First Quarter (from The Four Quarters, Huume)
                                > I Saw a Polysexual (from Whistleblower, Huume)

                      > From Morning On (from Explode, AGF Producktion/Intelligent Toys 5, Sutemos) 

Top photo by Jan Albert Vroegop; bottom photo by Allert Aalders

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Ludvika vibrations

Shimmeringly ambient, Basic Channel-fuzzy or austerely wintry - a taste of Anders Ilar's measured, almost stately techno > Sand Part 1 (from Sand 12", Narita); Geofissure (from Sad Electronics 3 (Part A), Site); & In Light We Trust (from Twilight Rainfalls, self-released). 

On Twilight Rainfalls: "Released on 23rd of December 2008 to celebrate the new solar year. The 8 new tracks on Twilight Rainfalls are based upon a meditative piano session recorded on October 19th 2008 in Ludvika. The recordings was later cut into parts and used as sourcematerial for the tracks. The initial idea was to make a very quiet ambient album with only some 808 rhythms to compliment the piano, however after the first track was finished (in light we trust) I realized that this would not be the case. The rest of the tracks was put together in the following weeks. The 9th track (althea) was produced some years ago using the sound of the very same piano.
As times are becoming rougher for many labels and distroes I realized it would be a long time waiting for a CD or vinyl deal for this material. And with things being as they are I believe the best way to spread these vibrations is in free digital format. So realizing this work might dissapoint a few of my listeners, atleast now you know the story behind the music and its intention is simply to be what it is (music), while hopefully inspire the listener to raise the frequency of love on this planet. Love and Light!
Anders Ilar"

Mixes, including Resident Advisor podcast, here

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Tightly spacious

Courtesy of the excellent No Pain in Pop, a compelling, crafted slab of tightly spacious boundary-blurring: Martyn mini-mix (lo-res version of a Rough Trade bonus with the imminent Great Lengths...).

Unconfirmed track list: 

Can - Future Days (Carl Craig Blade Runner mix) (white label)
Martyn - Vancouver (3024)
Martyn - Hear Me (3024)
2562 - Old Town (unreleased)
Pangaea - Router (unreleased)
Martyn - Twenty Four (3024)
Flying Lotus - Roberta Flack (Martyn’s Heart Beat mix) (Warp)
Martyn - Vancouver (2562 off dub) (3024)
Martyn - Natural Selection (acapella) (3024)
Martyn - Natural Selection (Flying Lotus conference clense mix) (3024)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Orchestral manoeuvres

These ears relish The Village Orchestra's intelligence, nimbleness & deep sense of texture & space more & moreAll the long & tricky way from fairly glitchy drone to a kind of warped, rich 'Steve Reich takes tea in Detroit' post-minimalism, TVO is concertedly, confidently & carefully compelling. 

Courtesy of Stuff, the clattering, time-shifting subtleties of Dwyer (NB: lo-res version - full-quality on the new The Dark is Rising EP; hear in full here - the 11-minute dubby joy of the digital-only alternate edit to Tober's warm shimmer, the rightly lauded 2562 'refix' of Afanc...). 

Earlier: the ravishing Love Theme From 'Two Man Rumble' (from the often wonderful Et In Arcadia Ego on Highpoint Lowlife; hear in full here.)
Other TVO goodies include: the delicate, swirling Tribute to Martin Crane (from the largely free Highpoint compilation Looking Back Ain't No Way Forward).

A home-compressed version of an apparently Dalston-inspired experiment Live @ Towards the Singularity [LMYE Hack] (more bass might have added to the sense of place... anyway, original in full here). 

TVO's very rare & very excellent remix of Posthuman's Asha Grew Wings is on this meaty mix. The original is free here

Another mix, on the staggeringly fine Electronic Explorationshere.  

Finally, from one of the man's many other personas/participations: the rumbling, rattling The Ratio by The Marcia Blaine School For Girls (from Magnetism, That Electricity... - again on Highpoint, again fully listenable via last.fm & also featuring 20 minutes of TVO bliss: The King of All Tears); & the nicely yearning Sleep Vs. Distance (from Halfway Into The Woods). 

NB: here very soon - new material from Marcia Blaine co-conspirator Production Unit...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Before the backlash

Before the inevitable backlash (give it two months at most..), one last Inaugural airing for this awesome splicing of fairly minimal techno pulses & swirls with soaring Obama rhetoric - a rare & inspirational moment. We Cannot Turn Back is an LMYE-curated extract from Francois K Minitek last year. 

Apologies as before for the somewhat abrupt ending, & the remorseless re-upping.

Any guidance on the underlying tracks still most welcome...

Hope/Progress image by Shepard Fairey.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Snail's pace in Saskatoon

After Foals, Foal - obviously! From squawky English yearning to luscious, impassive Canadian glitch (though the luscious glitcher appears to have moved on to something twangier these days...).

Anyway, the first slice from Chad's 2003 Nishi (net label) release re:construction: 5:11.

Get the whole thing here. & a live mix that features the first track here. & cough up a few downloads for his more recent Foliage here.

Happy accident department: Foal's current six-stringed output works well against the start of this absurdly good minimal mix by fellow Canuck Knowing Looks (whose Uzbekistan Love will have to be checked out!)...

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