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Reviews Written by
S. E. Gould "Simon Pachu" (Bristol UK)
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Spit
Spit
Price: £13.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Grim visaged fun, 23 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Spit (Audio CD)
Morelli, captain of the prolific L.I.E.S label, sounds like he's having a lot of fun here. Whereas the output of his label is liberal, fringe experiments in good quality house and techno, albeit of the frayed and spontaneous type (no endless down-the-rabbit-hole technical analysis needed for those tunes), this disc is Morelli exorcising some of his less-dancefloor focused instincts. This is industrial, early-electronics, post-punk synth etc. For touchstones, looks to Cabaret Voltaire's attic tapes, Chrome, Bourbonese Qualk and Irene & Mavis. Devoid of vocals and made up of repetitive squalls, crunchy drums and leering synthwork, the whole thing feels like Morelli is having a long-mac party with disco-gear beneath; serious yet silly. Well, he's having fun, remember, what's being produced is gritty and at time punishing, but the whole thing is like an indirect homage to the sounds of early electronics before the dancefloor swallowed it all up.


Traxbox: The Trax Records Box Set: The First 75 Complete 12" Releases
Traxbox: The Trax Records Box Set: The First 75 Complete 12" Releases
Price: £59.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding in both scope and quality, 14 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Essential electronic music! I'm an old fan of EBM, techno and synth-pop and relatively new to house and THIS speaks to me! Whereas the likes of Front 242, Cabaret Voltaire and others were experimenting with DARK electronica, Chicago was all about fun n' funkiness but still keeping that dangerous, thrilling edge.

Firstly, this is a bargain: 16 CDs, 8 of A-sides and 8 of B-sides all catalogued chronologically so you get the feel for the progression these musicians are making. Everything from straight up party tunes to squirming, stuttering experimentalism that make LFO look like also-rans.

I'm stuck for words to praise this impressive collection. 75 12"s for under £50? Get on it, fools: jack your body!


Archive #828285 Live
Archive #828285 Live
Price: £21.82

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a cash in!, 13 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Archive #828285 Live (Audio CD)
With the high-profile reissue of CV's somewhat and unfairly maligned mid-period (actually their most crucial phase), I feared this boxset from Intone (RHK's own label) was a cynical cash-in release and wouldn't add a great deal to the band's legacy -as such releases traditionally do.

I'm happy and still a little surprised to report the opposite: these are important and high quality recordings. The clarity is impressive, the quality of material and performance is thrilling -sometimes the Cabs could be quite listless and dull live -and genuinely funky, in fact, I found myself grooving hard to CD1, unable to sit still and having a lil' skank to Diskono; the band are in good form here.

The box is well produced, includes quality photographs and insightful notes. All in all, excellent.


Dettmann II
Dettmann II
Price: £11.94

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gimmick-free pounding techno, 28 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Dettmann II (Audio CD)
Techno's greatest inhibitor to wider acceptance is paradoxically also that which commands so many breathless, battle-ready devotees: it all sounds the same -except, it doesn't to the initiated who understand that repetition is functional and necessary to maximising the music's effect and who, in fact, are deliriously adept at detecting the subtleties, shifts and discreet flexes in the apparently minimalist architecture of most techno 12"s.

So many techno artists feel that graduation or progression in the electronic music field necessitates a compromise -or a colonisation -of the pop-song structure, filling in those great, austere stretches of barren kick drums and heatsick synths with 'song', lyrics and/or enough variety to keep the home-listener from drifting off.

Not so for Dettman, who makes a fetish of dancefloor pragmatism and presents progression as a mastery of the subtle-arts, without compromise to techno-outsiders.


Square Dancing in a Round House
Square Dancing in a Round House
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Machine music with bags of personality., 1 Sept. 2013
As a house music tourist but electronic music native, there's a lot to like about this CD. Dance music doesn't always deal well with album format but this one just about pulls it off; what we DON'T have here is a showcase of 10 of the artists strongest/most popular tracks as proof or justification of their highly esteemed position within their genre (as a rock/pop album functions). What we do have if an auteur, a musician so naturally at ease with both his tools and the parameters of the style that experimentation, fun, high quality craft and effectiveness collide effortlessly.

That means that this disc will confuse you, entertain you, impress you with its construction and get your feet moving (or head bobbing). You'll go from hip-shaking funk to future-shock machine thump, from accessible pop to wtf? weirdness.

I was disappointed/confused when I first heard this but, with re-listens, I realised that Carter is having a riot with this disc, blending artistry with gleeful abandon in a way that most other electronic (least of all house) producers mishandle spectacularly.

Worth it, basically.


Intersteller Fugitives 2 (Underground Resistance) [2cd+DVD]
Intersteller Fugitives 2 (Underground Resistance) [2cd+DVD]

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag of throw-back electro, 24 Jun. 2012
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Rather than be an ultra-modernist, uncompromising collection of sound experiments in the name of the Underground Resistance umbrella group, as the title might suggest, this collection sees the collective trying to charm and seduce the listener rather than soundtrack a teeth-grinding session.

No pummeling techno here, no DIY-dirtiness or teeth-gnashing, in-the-red waveform punishment a la the collective's early 90s days. Mad Mike's brief for the work here appears to be to distance UR from their original blueprint of Millsian brutality and instead revisit the style's 80s electro roots.

Disc 1 is closest to a manifesto, spoken-word futurism and and a bubbling electro that never opens up to full-throttled techno-aggression and, instead, sticks closer to the hi-tech jazz tag of the collective's first album. Fine, a little bland, but well made.

Disc 2's debt is split two ways: originators like Kraftwerk and Cybotron (principally on Geiger Counter) are referenced while many titles hint at an over-arching concept in the same way Drexciya told a story through titles and artwork, suggesting that the album-length parents of these shards could well be in the progressive zone.

Maybe it's the old 'Conform to Deform' trick in play, but much of this appears a little too safe and as if the artists are pleased at being tuneful, even if that is at the expense of raw power, edginess and (sadly) relevance. I may find myself putting this on when I want some techno that won't freak out other people in the room (Jeff Mills and X10 were surprisingly punk rock in their ability to incite instant revulsion and shock) but is still a cut above the dreary-drift of Moby's coffee table sonic hugs.


Staub
Staub
Price: £7.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theatrical Industrial, 10 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Staub (Audio CD)
Das Ich are a well known name in the European Industrial scene and have a string of eccentric, dramatic releases to their name. Whereas many EBM/industrial artists are content to digitally edit a photograph of themselves looking mean beside some pipes or in a dank, sinister alleyway, Das Ich's self-presentation and image management is next level. They're stage shows are much more in debt to Germany's highly creative theatre scene than even the most elaborate of their industrial predecessors.

Musically, it's fairly minimalist clank n' thud industrial, well constructed and amply garnished by Ackermann's howls, shrieks and grisled bark. The programming is well done, traditional industrial with a teutonic, orchestral edge that, together with their predeliction for grand stage sets/concepts, ferments an apocalypic-operatic flavour.

A good album from a solid band.


Sidetracked
Sidetracked

5.0 out of 5 stars Here here, 22 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Sidetracked (MP3 Download)
Couldn't have said it better myself. Criminally underated MC, producer, scene personality and all round artist. I just hope he doesn't fall into the commercial ungrimey sweetboy trap. If you like this, you have got to get over me too.


Soul Food Vol. 2
Soul Food Vol. 2
Price: £8.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Low profile grime genius, 6 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Soul Food Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
Ex-Roll Deep member Trim's second mixtape (but the first I've heard) is high quality grime from the get go. Frenetic, futuristic, eski-beat production throughout, humourous and sharp lyrics that are never ridiculous -there are no cringe worthy moments either. Some good features from Wiley, some classic production, ear-catching songs and good variety of ice-cold electronics and bravado spitting. Great.


Race Against Time
Race Against Time
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £5.89

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent, after some playlisting editing..., 12 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Race Against Time (Audio CD)
First things first, before listening to this album, import it into iTunes and delete 'The Olly' and 'Too Many Man'. While entertaining and catchy as hell, these diluted 'club grime' party bangers detract from what is a fantastic, hard hitting and very developed piece of art. Wiley is heavy and intense throughout, each track piling on the pressure from the distorted, grinding 'Head Banger' through the breathless, exhilerating 'Off The Radar' right down to the classic 'Music I Like'. Personal, direct, the man packs in a solid grime performance with the best tracks being straight, breathless freestyles where he spits fire all over the detractors. Hummer activity and Off the Radar are prime examples. A couple of weak tracks -but only in comparison to the aforementioned masterpieces -toward the second half lowers the temperature somewhat and lightens the heavy, dark mood throughout.

Like I said, if the above songs were omitted then this would be the closest thing Wiley has produced to a definitive, consistent artistic statement and would, in my eyes, blow any of the pop that Dizzee has produced away. No, this isn't mainstream, it ain't radio-friendly. This will, however, be remembered in years to come and I think a lot of people will discover its gritty production, insistent rhythms, classic bars and tough attitude that reek of integrity. Wiley earns his respect with this disc. Even the compartively lightweight 'She's Glowin'(remix) is a classy slice of electro-pop, well produced and thoughtfully vocalled with a cast of the current scene's most promising luminaries and established heroes.

The Olly and Too Many Man are mixtape affairs -suitable for tacking on to the end of an album, or maybe as b-sides or something. Maybe because Skepta included it and they were going head to head on release day Wiley felt he would lose out if the popular BBK tune was absent. It is fun to listen to a few times but is totally out of place here.

I only hope that, listen Wiley, one day a reissue will omit or relegate these tracks. I took them off my ipod and when i listen to this CD it leaves me totally exhausted with its power.


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