Monday, March 30, 2015

omni trio interview

Rob Haigh interviewed about his long journey through postpunk, industrial-esoteric, minimalism, ardkore, drum'n'bass right through to his current output of meditative piano compositions.  By David Keenan, for Red Bull Music Academy.

"... In the summer of ’89, we opened Parliament Music in Hertford – and something unexpected happened. The sort of stuff that I was used to selling in London [at Virgin megastore, Oxford Street] wasn’t doing at all well in Hertford. Instead, the kids that were coming in were into a whole different world of obscure house and rave imports, and hardcore white labels – and this is where it started.

I began to immerse myself in this music and by late ’89 or ’90 some of it was really connecting with me. The newly formed Warp, R&S Records and Mute were releasing material that made a direct connection with certain innovative post-punk outfits, likeCabaret Voltaire, 23 Skidoo and Daniel Miller. Tracks by the Forgemasters, Nightmares On Wax, LFO, Renegade Soundwave, Joey Beltram and later Orbital, and the Nu Groove label were giving me the sort of buzz that I’d known in the post-punk era.

"The next piece in the jigsaw fell in to place when a customer and DJ told me about a track he’d made on his computer. I was impressed and I offered to put it out – and started a label on the strength of it. I was also intrigued as to how he’d done it. It was all done on a £250 Amiga computer with freeware tracker software. I found this inspiring. It really appealed to my post-punk D.I.Y ethos. I immediately got an Amiga and started to fuse my existing ideas with the new possibilities of sequencing and sampling. Omni Trio grew out of this experimentation.

"Meanwhile, a whole bunch of other people were doing something similar and in a short space of time. Rave had become hardcore – from which a strand called breakbeat house developed. This morphed into breakbeat techno, which became jungle techno. And I turned around to find myself part of a movement that was now known as drum & bass. This further splintered into (labeled by journalists) jump-up and “intelligent drum & bass,” darkcore, artcore, and so on. But the point was that it was always pushing forward; trying out new ideas, never settling on one definable style (throughout most of the ’90s, at least)....

"The early Omni Trio EPs were all done on an Amiga 500 with a copy of ProTracker four-track software and an old TV as a monitor. I already had a Yamaha keyboard, and I got hold of a secondhand sound module. It was a luxury for me to have a four-track studio of my own."

Kind of odd not to have a question related to the single most salient aspect of Omni Trio - the astounding breakbeat science - but a useful bit of archaeology nonetheless regarding one of the oddest zig-zagging trajectories for a musician in the after-punk era.  I'm guessing this story is a byproduct of the new expanded England's Hidden Reverse that is coming out later this year. 

dark n sleek

free EP from KG3

something about it reminds me a bit of this beauty from Foul Play back in the day - sort of sensual and surreptitious at the same time - and skin-tingingly futuroid

another trak from the KG3 ep

Friday, March 27, 2015

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaffffffffffffffffffffffffffffxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx tttttttttttttttttiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmmmeeeeeeeessssssssstttttttttttrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttttcccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeddddddddddddd

alberto balsam slowed

reversed alberto balsam

alberto balsam steel drum

alberto balsam guitar

xtal reversed

xtal slowed down

xtal covered

xtal acoustic cover

lichen slowed down 8 times

goon gumpas stretched

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

hardcore heroes (#1 of ....)

Hey look, a recent-ish tune by The Mover, or recently released anyway - a free download in 2009


In all honesty I don't know why Marc Acardipane isn't as revered as Jeff Mills, or Drexciya, or Juan Atkins

(Mind you, I think that about a lot of people - like Nebula II, for instance - and others who will be popping up in this Hardcore Heroes series, a potentially interminable series)

I mean -

Minimal? check

Punitive? check

Dark? check

Underground? check

Mystique-shrouded? check

Conceptual / mythopoeic?  check

Hermetic? check

Thematic Consistency? check

Scale of execution / grandeur of vision? check

Acardipane ticks all the boxes for a Techno Auteur Treatment

Which is why I did one, here, some 17 years ago

But right now I'm not going to post any obvious classic Mover-and-aliases tunes  - like "Apocalypse Never" or "We Have Arrived" or "Nighflight (Nonstop to Kaos)" or "Symphonies of Steel" or "Slaves To the Rave" or ... They're all listed in the piece linked.

No, here I'm going to go with ones I've overlooked, mentally filed away, or missed completely. 

There seems to be a whole heap of recent-looking, new-to-me, solid-form Mover releases in the classic 90s vein.

Like this next one - which I think is absolutely terrific. A front-rank Acardipane killachoon.

That riff - like fog come alive, fog on the attack

Then there's this...

Trancecore - a bit of a pander to the hardstyle massive, maybe. Gotta love that Coltrane-twisting title though.

Back to the classic era, the latter phase of which ("Jupiter Pulse" etc) when it gets "ambient gabba"-like.

Another oldie but goodie:

Atmospheric this one, perhaps erring somewhat in that direction even:

Never so keen on the ones where he wheels out the 303, although the quality control is steady.

Probably own this but don't remember it....

A stealthy pummel, a  morose (art of) stalker - and a good groaner of a title:

KNEEL before the majesty!

Respect, finally, from the techgnoscenti - an album for Tresor, in 2003 if i recall. A little tempered by the context of "seriousness", but excellent. And his way with a title abides...

I could go on and on, posting tunes... he's made hundreds.

What's this? A tribute to the Mover? Well deserved. Couldn't say if it's well executed  (not had a chance to listen yet) but it's the thought that counts, eh?

Another piece by me on Acardipane  (plus the Horrorist)

Great Q/A with The Mover in Alien Underground / Datacide from 1995

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dance Ecstasy 2015

all those Lil Jon tracks with the whiplash riffs in the "Turn Down For What?" mold, they get me flashing on DE2001 and Power Plant tunes of yore. One in particular I can't place.... the following clips are close but they're not the one I have naggingly in mind but beyond memory's grasp....  Any ideas?

Friday, March 20, 2015

isn't it powerful?

D.H.S.  - for a Brit, that name immediately makes you think of signing on....  but in fact it stands for Dimensional Holofonic Sound

This is one of the tracks I bought in the personal interregnum between the first flush of excitement about brutal house / acid house in 87/88, and becoming a born-again raver in the later months of 1991.

So I mentally file "House of God" with a few other things that still  kept half-an-ear of mine trained on the rave sector prior to the full-blown conversion  -  things like the 808 State releases...  that LFO album...   Eon and the Vinyl Solution vybe... Orbital...

"House of God" - is it actually house? Or techno? Back then - 1990-91 -  it didn't matter, there wasn't much of a distinction. Dancefloors were more cross-contaminated genre-wise and flava-wise, before the tempo gap between different strands widened out. Things that had been "acid" or "bleep" and things that would soon be "tribal" or "hardcore" or "trance" or "Detroit" or "breakbeat" - these would all be getting played in the same set by the same deejays to the same crowds in the same clubs.

But I didn't hear  "House of God" on a dancefloor... I think I heard it on the radio... on John Peel, most likely.... and I believe I picked it up at Red Records on Brixton High Street.

Then reviewed it in Melody Maker when it was my next turn to do the Singles.

D.H.S. - one of those mysterious anonymous entities so prevalent then. No idea who they/it were, where they came from. For some reason I thought New York. 
Nowadays one can glean more information - it's one Benjamin Stokes, a Briton. And rather than a one-off as I'd fondly imagined, "House of God" belongs to quite an extensive discography. There was even a D.H.S. album - The Difference Between Noise and Music. 

Hangman Records, which again seemed very mysterious, turns out to be some kind of subsidiary of Rough Trade, with a not insubstantial roster of acts and releases. This was indeed the time of things like Novamute and Rhythm King and Infonet - indies to try to get in on the post-rave action. 

That's most of the tracks on the original double pack:

House Of God ($50 Mix)
House Of God (Holy Version)
House Of God (Unholy Version)
Holophonic Sound
Difference Between Noise & Music
#9 Bad Acid
The Forbidden
Holophonic (Remix)

But there's been a heap of  "House of God" remixes, immediately and in the ensuing years, and then there's the later D.H.S. tracks....

And what is this?  An official remake, some time after the event? 

Not as good....  and the video takes away more than adds...  see, or rather not-see: that original era of tekno-haus seems to me to be about visual deprivation, the total eclipse of the retinal faculties... pulsing haptic darkness.

Any number of other house tracks based around preacher samples spring to mind, in particular this one, but being an old postpunker I did inevitably think of this: 

More of that March 23 1991 Singles Page for Melody Maker, with thumbs-up for Reese and Eon.  The Singles of the Week that week, by the way, were World of Twist "Sons of the Stage" and 1000 Homo DJ's "Supernaut".

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

you take me up like a river overflowing you give me love and happiness

accidentally stumbled on the identity of this tune which gorgeously backing tracks much of the madness of this pirate session

"Give Me Love" by the mighty M-Beat whose discography is bigger and goes back pre-jungle much more than I had thought 

although it's all proto-jungalistic in vibe I suppose

but more on that later.... 

ripplin striplin

i could swear there was a hardcore track that sampled the bassline bit from "Can't Turn Me Away", but neither memory nor the cognoscenti I consulted could help me

so there's just this, for now

Friday, March 6, 2015

don badmen

too many rave docs, too little time

parody grime

sparta (the return)

deep tech tune's military vibes

echo this funky tune's military vibes

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


"It's like the groove is shaking itself to pieces" - Tim Finney

from this Jay Power 3 hour set, which has some great stretches but overall I found almost too monolithic, too changeless same -  just that pingy bass sound, barely inflected, again and again  - almost like one long moment extended - a juddernaut

in the club, under the influence, the vybe would be omnipotent I'm sure

as an in front of the computer experience, one does somewhat reactionary-ily crave a tad more divertissement and fluctuation

another track Tim F pinpointed, which also caught my ear - Sami Sanchez "Dirty Trumpet" - a funky track from 2010  - brought the craved variety of groove attack!

here's a more recent Jay Power + Perch MC set, less long

twostep / deeptech

also, even better, about 19 minutes into this

stop press: jack jambie points out there is also a jackin refix of "fill me in"

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

entropy flash

Quietus's Rory Gibbs on Ekoplekz's latest for Planet Mu:

"[The Entropik E.P.] feels like an invitation to step into the background of the contemporary UK city, its alleyways, industrial parks and dumps, and be reminded that the same knackered infrastructure, inefficiencies and environmentally damaging processes still churn away behind the slick 21st century surface veneer. In ‘Entropy Symphony’ I hear a Disney’s Fantasia for municipal waste: the bell-like chimes of toxic effluent dripping from a pipe; discarded polystyrene cups, plastic bags and rusted trolleys skating an intricate ballet on the surface of a duckweed-ridden canal; blasts of Geiger-counter grit a warning of the invisible radiation of the past leaking out to deform and hack away at the gloss of the present. It may be projection on my part, but as someone living in London at the moment these jarring contradictions form a part of everyday life: rising homelessness and overt poverty juxtaposed with endless aspirational billboards for new housing developments, slick shopfronts and overpriced organic supermarkets. These all add to the sickened sense that your home city is on display for purchase by anyone save those of its current inhabitants most in need of housing; spruced up like a toy dog at a show competition, its imperfections temporarily varnished over or swept aside, away from the eyes of prospective buyers. Somehow, though, Entropik is a comforting reminder that underlying damp always seeps back through the fresh coats of paint slapped on to cover it."

Gibbs suggests that one of the two long tracks on the E.P., "Entropy Flash" is a holler-back to Bass Clef's "Apathy Flash"

Love the edge-of-painful puns - "Set Adrift On Memory Abyss" !

Also reviewed, a record that samples Tony Benn. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

changing same

derivative, second-rank for sure, but evolving steadily with each trend and each step forward in technology and studio practice

shaking asses and moving feet at the speed of science

(if you want to do the condensed journey, just play the first and last two videos)

similar trajectories could be traced for most other R&B artists who span similar time-spans - well, Parliament-Funkadelic obviously, but just about every one