independent release, 2005
AMs actual name is elusive, but this is by no means to say that he isnt known from New York to LA for his work. In June 2005, AM won the coveted Best Signer-Songwriter award at the LA Weekly Music Awards. He has worked with Jamie Meyerson, who produced this album, guitarist Geoff Pearleman (Shelby Lynne/Capitol) and Bryan Head (Abandoned Head/Universal) among many others. His gentle, catchy vocals, guitar and simple drum riffs will remind you of times past when AM radio was all there was to listen to. His blend of rock, pop, folk and country takes its place amongst groups such as Keane and Coldplay that have gained popularity in recent years in response to the overload of US dance and hip hop radio. AM is successful in his simplicity without being maudlin or self conscious. Hes real, grounded and poised for broader national attention. For more information visit AMs website at www.amsounds.com. The album is available online at sites such as iTunes and CD Baby.
independent release, 2006
Seattle-based Signor Groove a.k.a. Jeff Beauvoir has independently released his second full-length album titled Scrambodia. A blend of infectious funk bass riffs, falsetto vocals, Beauvoir has created an album that matches the clever production and style of both Beck and Scissor Sisters. At times humorous, at times sexy, this album pushes the envelope in its production and funk aesthetic. Catchy hooks, exciting horn lines and rump shakin bass-work will delight and entertain you. This album is highly recommended for those looking to break the down tempo mold and get a hold of some edgy, homegrown new funk.
Scrambodia is available for purchase directly at the artists web site www.signorgroove.com or via www.cdbaby.com/cd/signorgroove2
Groove Closet: Downtempo Bedroom Beats from Ball of Waxx
Ball of Waxx
Ball of Waxx is the brainchild of former Moonshine artist and producer David deLaski and Los Angeles breakbeat native John Kelly. These guys first met at the now legendary Moontribe parties that have been going on in the Mojave Desert for over ten years. Groove Closet: Downtempo Bedroom Beats from Ball of Waxx is a collection of jazzy, downtempo grooves from some of L.As Moontribe denizen DJs such as John Kelly, DJ Brian, and Lord Runningclam. Groove Closet is an invaluable overview of the L.A. downtempo leaders work for the forward thinking, downtempo aficionado. Its a peek into to the Moontribe vibe that will delight and calm the senses. The music is light, sweeping and somewhat experimental pushing the envelope with its nature samples and ethnic flavor. The album is available for sale and listen B4Ubuy at www.ballofwaxx.com
Ball of Waxx
Release Date: 3/8/2005
Brian Saitzyk and DJ John Kelly have teamed up to create an album of evolved electronica. In Emptiness will free the mature electronica fan from the thumping dance floor and lull them into peaceful serenity. Underscore a harmonious life with tranquility and sounds that include light guitar, sweeping and percolating synths blended with light percussion and occasional vocal riffs. The album is available for sale and listen B4Ubuy at www.ballofwaxx.com
Release Date: 1/18/05
Josh One the underground groove master, and hip hop producer has released his debut CD/DVD Narrow Path in DualDisc format on Myutopia Recordings. There are a couple of things you should know about this release: the first is Josh Ones noteworthy place at the helm of forward looking technology and production, and the second is the new DualDisc format and Myutopia Recordings -- and the relationship to the 5.1 Entertainment Group. Josh One is best known for the chart topping Contemplation track that was a 2002 dancefloor anthem in the UK and Europe and is included on the release. Narrow Path was released in January of 2005 and is a versatile album of trip hop, hip hop and downtempo jazz riffs blended together into a seamless, complex and percussive composition. He collaborated with a handful of musicians to produce the blended sound of Narrow Path including Marshall Goodman (Sublime), trumpet player Printz Board (Black Eyed Peas), and bassist Caleb Speir (Nikka Costa, Macy Gray). Outstanding. www.joshone.net
The DualDisc format is a 6-month old media format where there is a CD on one side and DVD on the other. The music on the DVD side is mixed in 5.1 surround sound and can be imported into your portable music device for playback using the Dolby Headphone® Technology. Myutopia Recordings is a division of the 5.1 Entertainment Group that also owns the Immergent and Silverline record labels as well as 5.1 Production Services and 5.1 Music Publishing. They are at the forefront of audio/visual production and the release and marketing of music in the DVD format. For more information on the 5.1 Entertainment Group and the new DualDisc format, visit www.5point1.net
Release Date: 10/12/04
Kitaro is a Grammy winning, world-renowned musician originating from Japan. Coming on to the scene in the 1970s, Kitaro became well known in the western market with compositions such as his 1986 release of Tenku. His timeless compositions are inspiring and reach out to touch the spirit. (www.kitaro.com) Reinterpretations, available from Kanpai Records, is a remix of 12 of Kitaros songs as interpreted by new electronic artists like DJ Peas, Appogee, and Occidental among others. The majority of the songs appeared on the 2003 Kitaro Album, The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai (Domo Records, www.domo.com). My notes aptly describe this as Not your standard remixes, the tracks featured are unique individual reinterpretations of Kitaros vision to create music that unites, heals, and soothes the human spirit. For more information visit www.kanpairecords.com.
Release Date: 10/5/04
Peter Peas McEvilleys new release Filters on Kanpai Records uses samples from the legendary Japanese world music pioneer Kitaro. This outstanding mix of original down tempo beats laced with breaks, melodies, and Kitaro samples is a must have. Late-night club djs will thrive on its refreshing, orchestral qualities that provide an atmosphere of intimacy and quietude.
Peas is a not only a musician but a producer who has contributed regularly to the ABC music library and completed remixes for the film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. As a new music talent, Peas should be on your watch list for 2005 and beyond. For more information on Peas and the Filters release visit www.sweepea.com
Release Date: 9/28/04
Surfacing from the underground LA experimental electronic music scene is Appogee (aka Jay Skinner) with his first full-length release Unconscious Ruckus. Unconscious Ruckus is a combination of song and sound experiences that is at times agitating and other times soothing and pensive. Unconscious Ruckus brings the talents from Skinners decade of experience in the studio the foreground. Beautiful chaos resonates from the speakers alongside polyrhythmic, multi-layered melodies and atmospherics. Skinner has had a successful career in LA helping score two feature films (The Mothman Prophecies and Rules of Attraction) as well as helping to produce countless television commercials for clients such as Sprint, Dove, Burger King, and Target among many others. For more information on Appogee visit www.appogeemusic.com
Om Recordings, 2003
Released earlier this month, Mark Farina's debut album of all original music is set for take off. Air Farina is a concept album that includes a continuous mix of deep house, downtempo jazz and B-movie style in-flight recordings all colored with an international airline theme. This album is highly accessible to both novice downtempo/house fans as well as seasoned dj's. Farina's sophisticated house sensibilities, that he developed during the acclaimed Mushroom Jazz phase of his career, are evident on this album. At times drowsy, thoughtful and downtempo, other times light, 4/4 dance, this album is a creative triumph for Farina. The track, "Dream Machine featuring Sean Hayes" is particularly thoughtful with Hayes' almost folk-like vocals over a minimal snare beat. I could see this track as cross-over track to more commercial play. No electronica collection is complete without this album! I can't wait for his next one. Outstanding.
Eeenie Meenie Records, 2003
Pleasure Vibrations is an excellent addition to any electro-pop fan's collection. This Korean/Japanese-American duo out of Los Angeles produce kitschy, electro rhythms layered over danceable, 4 on the floor beats. Overall this duo is fun, clever, humorous and creates very danceable music. They have a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor but with their inspirations including Cabaret Voltaire, Giorgio Moroder and the Yellow Magic Orchestra. They remind me of a less fetish-based Lords of Acid only much lighter. Their songs are minimal and there is clearly a sense of humor involved in what they are doing - wether you take it that way or not. Their "outerspace" costumes and use of projections of B-movie asian sci-fi during their performances says it all.
Musically they are using a theremin, mini-moog and microprocessor based technology to achieve these pop-electro beats. Japanese artist/designer Lunna Menoh's vocal style is partially spoken word and partially baby-doll sensuality. She brings her aesthetic sensibilities to her work with Seksu Roba through her outlandish costumes and conceptual art that surrounds the band's performances. Korean producer Sukho Lee has a classical music background and my notes referred to him as the "Hendrix of the theremin." Pleasure Vibrations is Seksu Roba's second release. In stores October 14, 2003.
Mana Medicine glides into the stores in a free fall on October 21, 2003. For those of you interested in getting in on the ground floor of this rapidly expanding genre, now is the time to groove. The compilation features artists from Great Britain, Canada, Israel, Australia, and Japan. The culturally diverse group shares their interest in producing mystical, chill out music that will beautifully underscore any passionate and sensual activities you can think of. Commonly known as ambient dub in Britain, this compilation is an excellent primer from one of the leaders of the psychedelic underground. It is a very timely release for a stressed-out world!
Jazzy Chill Out and Bluesy Chill Out
The eighth and ninth editions to this Grammy nominated series known as Sacred Spirit, are the work of German-born studio guru The Brave. These full length albums are progressively minded works, one of which is offering a very fresh perspective on blues music. Blues, traditionally thought of as an American phenomenon is a genre rarely associated with electronica. The Brave has crafted a contemporary version of the blues that draws on classic elements of the style. Layering lazy downtempo rythms and the lonely slide guitar, The Brave sought to "...free the blues from its usual limitations.." and he has done just that. The Brave makes me appreciate the thoughtful, expressive nature of blues on a new level - an ambient one. The Jazzy Chill Out CD is a credible addition to the ever expanding jazzy chill genre of downtempo music. I'm a very big fan of the symphonic "You're Gonna Love" track that is featured first. No downtempo collection is complete without these additions. My notes indicated The Brave as a master in musical paradigm shifts and I couldn't agree more. Both releases available in stores since September 16, 2003.
The debut album from San Francisco Bay Area DJ and Producer Galen Butler hits the streets August 26th. Galactivation is a lush, atmospheric journey into a consciousness expanding experiment of blended electronica. Your speakers will share downtempo breaks with trip-hop, dub and world rhythms. Reminiscent of B12 and The Orb, this is a hypnotic auditory experience as much as it is a message for world unity. Butler is quoted in my notes as saying"...the sound of people celebrating life." His layering of dub-centric downtempo beats, sweeping atmospheric synths and tribal instruments, although nothing new to electronica, is fresh and gives new perspective to this pensive and thoughtful music. Grab a lotus flower and some Chi, light some incense and relax. This is a winner that would blend well with Talvin Singh, B12 and The Orb.
Compost Records, 2003
Fantastic. The notes I was sent on Ben Mono's debut album "Dual" spoke about his affinity for urban environments. This affinity is clearly woven into this expressive, broken-beat album. The notes also indicated that he has worked hard to balance the production of the broken-beat style with warm vocals. He combines up-tempo club beats with elastic sub layers of jazz vocals and synths. The overall effect is a pulsing, energetic velocity throughout the entire album that is definitively urban. I highly recommend this album. It is accessible and very innovative. Mono's contribution to the nujazz genre is a prolific, highly progressive masterpiece. Out soon on Compost Records, you better get in line for this one.
Compost Records, 2003
Don't be confused by the title of the latest addition to the Truby Trio catalog--this innovative German trio would have elevators pulsing and grooving across the globe. In typical Truby Trio fashion, they have managed to blend toe-tapping drum and bass with latin and vintage samples to create a stylish and dynamic work. Notably, there are wonderful latin guitar riffs featured on more than one of the songs - very unexpected and extraordinary. "Elevator Music" is set apart from other latin-influenced drum and bass albums for a number a reasons, but the most distinguishing of all is the pace. This album captures an energetic dance floor quality while entertaining you audibly with interesting samples, vocal tracks and production techniques. Each track stands alone, I did not perceive that they set out to have the album blend from one song to another, but rather, set each track apart so you could get a break. Trust me, you'll feel "the feeling, the rhythm, and the swinging feel." Excellent!
Jazzanova-Compost Records, 2003
This jazz/breaks duo has no problem with experimentation. Their riffs are fresh, challenging and quirky. The samples flow seamlessly throughout this intelligent, nujazz album of varied moods; most of which are light and accessible. The layering of samples, dissonant melodies and breaks makes for a large and expansive, dancehall quality. I highly recommend this album.
Jazzanova Compost Records, 2003
There is jazz fusion quality to most of this 23 song, 2-CD set. The repetitive, dreamlike vocals and driving undercurrents keep you moving through this sexy compilation from this Germany-based label. It excites you to listen to it. This relaxing summer pick is smooth, sophisticated and light.
The Verbrilli Sound
Upstairs Recordings, 2002
Released in 2002, this full length CD from the The Vebrilli Sound is a light and hypnotic blend of engrossing riffs and ethereal samples. This piece is, at times, quiet, sophisticated, and very sexy. The craftsmanship on each Vebrilli track could be noted by audiophiles and electronic music buffs as a very complex and textured way of achieving total bliss. The immersive quality is the common theme throughout this whole piece of work. Excellent - highly recommended.
The Lost Surveillance Tapes
DJ Will Sugar
Upstairs Recordings, 2001
This Canadian based label is incredible. This mixed CD comes on, in the first few moments, as dark and trippy but then sets off with a dry, meandering jazz snare, just to add a little rubber. This very sexy, super hip sound is fantastic. I love Les Gammas, but, it's followed by the label's own E.D. Swanks. The transporting feeling of Swanks' "Gazebo" has the listener touch down in a landscape by the next label-based stylist, The Verbrilli Sound with "Decender". This track takes you across a long, long bridge of breaks and urban samples before it returns to it's melodic intro/outro riff. It is very clever and progressively minded. The Lost Surveillance Tapes is a lush quilt of moods and styles and it is absolutely seamless. Available exclusively at the label web site.
Deep Downtempos Volume 2
Upstairs Recordings, 2000
This early compilation from Upstairs Recordings features Telefuzz, E.D. Swanks and The Vebrilli Sound. It is a visionary blend of ambient beats and deep sweeping oceanic melodies. "Moonbeams" has the feeling of being the underscore to a hip, trans-planetary journey which is contrasted to the tribal, eastern feeling of "Limberer". This definitive compilation is a must have for the nujazz, downtempo collector. It's an early foray into the sound that is evident in particular on "Sideshot Jazzwalk" by Telefuzz.
Chill Factor Session One
Radiakal Records, 2003
There are numerous "chill" compilations out these days and Chill Factor is no different except for one thing: Sinead O'Conner. The melodic, downtempo, and at times annoying, "Troy" track opens the CD and since I'm not a big Sinead fan, it was tough to give the rest of this CD a chance. The relaxation factor is high - very sunday morning kinda' feel thoughout the whole compilation. I give higher marks to the ATB and Schiller tracks. Kim Sanders is featured on the track "Distance" which has a magnetic quality about it - due to the clarity of her vocal style. Overall, this CD is just ok, but if you're just getting into the genre, then check out some of these emergent talents.
Radikal Top 40
Celebrating 5 Years of Continuous Hits
Radikal Records, 2003
This compilation of Radikal artists did not impress at all. I found myself annoyed out of the gate because of the N-Trance track featuring, none other than, Rod Stewart. Not at all my thing. There are, for those of you who are looking for value, 40 songs in this two CD compilation.
The Electroclash Mix
Leading the electro movement is the legendary Larry Tee. The Electroclash events organized by Tee are at the forefront of the emerging electro or nu-electro genre. This kitchy late 80's early 90's sound is at times a psychosexual escapist trip into the world of drag queens, naughtiness and plenty of humor. The sound is best described as the use of mid-80s synths, and minimalist song structures with spoken word "lyrics". This two CD set is very dancable and features Tee's remix of "Confusion" by New Order as well as a peek at W.I.T. the international girl group who will release their debut album in March. The Benny B track "Satisfaction" is particularly funny to me because Fred from the Apple Computer, default speech voices was used as the "lead singer". That's just hilarious! Larry Tee's influence and reach in the nu-electro movement cannot be disputed. If you like electro, get this 2CD set from the grand mec de la scene, sweetie. In stores March 25, 2003
Compost Records, 2003
Facets is the result of Daniel Magg's desire to create an album "with an energy level high enough to make an impact on dance-floors whilst still being musical enough to for home listening pleasure." Mission accomplished. At times complex and deep, this percussive nu jazz release is very catchy and has a range of musical styles blended together that keep your interest aroused. There are driving, soulful riffs accompanied by ethereal and dissonant vocal samples blended over african and latin influenced percussion. The track "Different Place" should find a place on american club charts because of it's infectious drum track and light vocal overlay. Mix with St. Germain and latin house. For more on Daniel Magg and the Compost Records catalog visit
For a free download track go here:
Sky City Going...Gone
Sound Gizmo, 2003
Jamie Myerson's second cross country trip is captured on this atmospheric, minimal, drum and bass CD. His thought provoking, often dark riffs are captivating. I'm not a big fan of lyrics in atmospheric works such as this one, however, they are a personal expression for Myerson and blend well as part of the whole work. The epic quality of these pieces would work well with Vapourspace, Orbital and Roni Size. Going...Gone is a follow up to the critically acclaimed Lift Me Up CD also on Sound Gizmo. In stores February 18, this is a collector for the intelligent electronica fan.
Mixed Live Carl Cox
2nd Session - Area2, Detroit
A true Carl Cox dj set is all about energy and this second installation to a series of live mixes is kinetic. This constantly moving mix is a highlight from Moby's traveling Area2 spectacle. As a headlining dj on the tour, Carl Cox is certainly one of the house and trance scene's most influential dj's and producers - and this mix puts him at the helm of a thumping sound system with thousands of adoring fans in front of him. Recorded in Detroit, the birthplace of techno, this is a very special live album from Carl Cox's personally customized dj booth. In stores November 12th.
Tech, Synth-Pop and Nu-Electro
This 2-cd compilation explores and attempts to define the emerging new, new wave scene. The genre defies a definitive tag right now because it offers such a strong retro 80's feeling, why not just call it new wave? Moonshine offers their own definition with the release of this light listening compilation and dubbed it Electro Nouveau. At times kitchy and humorous, this genre is ever expanding and this album is an excellent introduction to the scene. If you're looking for the next wave in popular music, look for Electro Nouveau. In stores November 12th.
This debut album is a must have for any technophile. Each track has the distinct, characteristic styling of its originators Mark Gage (Vapourspace) and Michelle Herrmann (Punisher, Seismic Records). It blends effortlessly into a real floor pounder right out of the gate. It's an excellent collaboration of two talented visionaries. Michelle is a Roland R8mk II master who developed the rump shakin' drum patterns and Mark is the genius who developed the interesting keyboard samples as well mastering the final mix. The result is a highly intelligent, highly danceable techno album that is sure to be popular amongst sophisticated techno fans. Buy this album or regret it later! Serve by itself or with Joey Beltram - Close Grind
Layo and Bushwacka!
XL Recordings, 2002
Layo and Bushwacka are two of the most influential musicians in the electronica scene right now and Night Works stands as a testimony to their innovations. The album is a cleverly crafted journey that contains occasional "mini tracks" that transition you from one song to another. As a whole, the album provides you with a variety of downtempo grooves and jumpin' breaks. Excellent peek inside the British scene. Buy this album because you need to know who these guys are! Serve by itself or with Orbital, Sasha and Digweed or perhaps a dash of Thievery Corporation.
Upstairs Recordings, 2002
This trippy, relaxing voyage through space is an excellent example of the work by the crew at Upstairs Recordings from Vancouver, BC. The label's dedication to downtempo, space+time experiences and menthol cool style is clearly evident on this release. A must have for fans of the next evolution of trip hop and acid jazz. No need to fasten you seat belt, just sit back, relax and let the music take you there. Serve by itself or with St.Germain.
Blue Light One
An Upstairs Recordings Compilation
Upstairs Recordings, 2002
The broad spectrum of talent at Upstairs Recordings is compiled neatly into this album. Their samples of traditional instruments such as sax and trumpet are blended over undulating and relaxing grooves of drum and bass, trip hop and dub. An excellent primer to the label lineup and downtempo in general. Very smooth. Serve by itself and note the album as a whole composition.
Fidela Records, 2002
Step aside rock chicks, Cribabi (pronounced 'cry baby') is a new band with Andy Cox (The Beat, Fine Young Cannibals) and Japanese pop star Yukari Fujiu. This album is all over the place in style and mood. At first glance, each track has the common thread of outstanding guitar work and accessible vocals. On a second go around you notice the high-end production that gives the duo their clean, clear sound. This is a good addition to any current rock collection, very likely to climb U.S. charts. Serve with Poe, Gwen Stephanie and maybe even a little Sheryl Crow.
The Message is Clear
VinylHor Records, 2002
Released in August of this year, Signal's The Message is Clear is a really upbeat dance album. Surfacing from the LA underground rave scene are two dedicated and young guys (19 and 21) who's careers in the industry are guaranteed. Some of the high energy tracks feature vocals by the guys themselves (as opposed to samples). There is a definitive early 90's feeling that is very alive and refreshing. This is a must have for the dance club dj. Serve by itself or with the Shamen and Orbital.
Icon of Coil
The Soul is in the Software
This group's second album has a definitive retro-industrial sound that is energetic, melodic and danceable Although not distinct, the sounds is direct, hard hitting and includes sweeping crescendos that lend a spacey almost trance edge to this industrial release. Serve with vintage industrial and new wave such as Depeche Mode and early KMFDM.
Signos de Aberracion
Hailing from Mexico City, Mexico, Hocico dreary, dismal outlook is clearly communicated on this 11 song release. A quote from the notes I was handed is, "...Hocico channel the violence, isolation, and social misconduct of Mexico City into their music to exhibit what society has wronged." The songs have driving and intense crescendos and dramatic industrial sweeps. Serve by itself or with Jean Michel Jarre for kicks.
Le Peuple de l'Herbe
Play It Again Sam, 2002
For the fan of dub electronic this album is a must have. This french group from Lyon is very daring in the use of there samples but also in there blatant support for cannibis, hell, it's in the name. There are 15 tracks to this album each with a distinct style ranging from very danceable to dub-chill. Don't get freaked out by the french language samples at the beginning, there are plenty of tracks in english too. Serve by itself or with vintage On-U dub.
Metropolis Records, 2002
This is an excellent primer to the Metropolis label featuring an array of synth-pop, industrial and future-pop bands such as KMFDM and Imperative Reaction. Also featured on this album is the well known Peter Murphy, a godfather to the scene. For the seasoned fan or the newbie, Critical Mass Volume 3, the third installment compilation, is must have. Serve by itself.
Metropolis Records, 2002
A whopping thirteenth album by these guys is incredible. The notes handed to me claim that this is their most intense and poetic release to date. Judging from their frightening, dark and German lyrics I would have to agree. Not for the faint of heart, this German duo is exploring the depth between industrial and goth. Serve by itself and have a long, hard look at their theatrical makeup that makes Kiss seem like the Mickey Mouse Club.
Metropolis Records, 2002
A very driving and intense melody kicks off the third album from Assemblage 23.The retro synthpop sound is distinctive and refreshing to hear in the hip hop climate we live in. My notes indicate that fans will recognize their signature melody constructions, dance floor anthems and driving rhythms. The track "Drive" is an excellent example of their signature sound. Serve by itself.
Metropolis Records, 2002
The fifth full length album from Funkervogt is expected to conquer underground industrial clubs like mad this fall. Their melodic style may even cross them over into mainstream dance clubs with tracks like "Final Thrill". The album is all over the place in mood and tone. Fans will very likely love this album, newbies will need a break about half way through because it's so intense. Serve with Icon of Coil.
Jondi & Spesh
Jondi & Spesh have become the darlings of San Franciscos electronic music scene. The highly involved and influential duo have been working together since 1993 in San Franciscos club scene as djs and producers and have traveled the world with their passion for the medium. The Answer is their third artist release. This album is gorgeous, big and beautiful and will gain global attention for its provocative, brooding electronic sound. Past releases by Jondi & Spesh include Tube Drivers 98, and We Are Connected 00 albums that remain popular amongst world-level producers and djs like Oakenfold, Digweed, and Tenaglia among others. They are also owners of the globally focused record label Looq that has had more than 20 releases worldwide. For more information, visit Jondi & Spesh at www.jondiandspesh.com.
Released independently 8/17/04
This is well worth the listen. Aalacho is the electro-rock creation of Seattle-based musician and writer Nathan Scott. Much of the synth-pop that is infusing the electronica scene loses its flavor after a couple of chews. But the low-tech, honest approach Scott uses spices up the prospects for the electro-rock movement with his release of Electro. His quirky, unpredictable compositions are very catchy.
Armed with a pile of rumpled notebooks of songs and musings Scott left rural Detroit for the west coast several years ago. There, he emerged in the post-grunge climate with his debut album, Sugar that was on CMJs RPM Top 20 for 9 weeks in 2002. Electro is an independent release for Scott who collaborated with numerous guest artists to release this refreshing new album. Highly recommended! www.aalacho.com
There are really two stories to tell you here. The first is that Dutchi Records is a new record label based out of Amsterdam. The label is the latest foray into the music world for TV Mattersproducers of the highly successful fundraising pledge show for PBS, Irish Tenors. The Irish Tenors franchise has generated 2.1 million units sold and is available on the Music Matters label, also part of the TV Matters company. Jan Willem Bosman Jansen, president and CEO of TV Matters talked about the addition of Duchti records, Amsterdam has emerged as the world crossroads of electronic/lifestyle music and as a Dutch company TV Matters has moved to position itself in this busy intersection of groove and soothe.
The second part of what you need to know is that Asuras Lost Eden is the debut release on Ducthi Records. This is the second full-length album for this French band that blends trip hop, down tempo, classical, and world music. Lost Eden is engrossing, ambient and expansive. My notes refer to it as an overflowing cup of ambient dub elements"--and that indeed it is!
For more information on Asura visit TV Matters website at www.tvmatters.com
Tino Corp, 2003
Jack Dangers and company are definitely busy! If he's not busy with Meat Beat Manifesto, he's working on his Tino Corp. material. If he's not working on that he's producing remixes of Meat Beat material featuring guest artists (R.M.X.S). If he's not working on that he's remixing his own material! Wow, what an under-achiever! Which brings us to the newest release "In Dub". This will actually be two releases, one on CD and the other on DVD in 5.1 Surround Sound titled appropriately enough "In Dub 5.1 Surround".
"In Dub" is a remix of the 2002 Meat Beat Manifesto release "R.U.O.K", but I use the term remix very loosely. While it's obvious that Dangers has used samples of tunes from "R.U.O.K.", "In Dub" has become a completely different release. As any MBM fan can tell you, their drum programming and rhythms would lend itself easily to Jamaican Dub (at least this fan thinks so!), so it's no surprise that five songs include the Bay Area's DJ Collage on the mic, bringing a taste of dub roots into the fold. This release has all of the trademark Meat Beat sound-collage, swirling, floating, flying, and general disembodiment that youve come to expect, but with the addition of 5.1 Surround Sound.
The ability to use 5.1 Surround on this release looks to be a sign of things to come. "To be able to position a sound anywhere between six
speakers is very liberating and inspiring, says Dangers. "I've got different pieces coming out of each speaker and moving into the middle and doing weird things. Doing a dub record with it is unbelievable, it just calls for that. It's always been trapped in this stereo field and is now unleashed! Well I'm sold! Longtime collaborator Ben Stokes is working his video directing magic for the DVD, with the help of Dangers. Alas, we were only able to review the CD version of this release, but you can bet I will be the first in line to check out the DVD.
Meat Beat Manifesto
Storm the Studio R.M.X.S.
Tino Corp, 2003
If youre looking for some sort of unbiased, open-minded review of this release, then keep looking. I am an unabashed Meat Beat Manifesto fanatic (a Meat head?). So it should come as no surprise that I think Storm The Studio R.M.X.S. is a brilliant piece of work. But before I give you my biased, close-minded review, heres a bit of history for you.
Storm The Studio was recorded following a studio fire that destroyed the master tapes of what was to be Meat Beat Manifestos debut release, and it has definitely stood the test of time. As a matter of fact, both Storm The Studio and Armed Audio Warfare are being reissued with new packaging and mastering this summer (2003). When I first heard Storm The Studio, I was taken aback by how different it was, and I knew instantly that Meat Beat Manifesto/ Jack Dangers were going to be something that the world had not seen before. I would be hard pressed to even place a genre label on them, but Ill give it a shot: electro-dustrial-jungle-funk. Umm
Storm The Studio R.M.X.S. features remixes by Antipop Consortiums High Priest, DJ Spooky, Merzbow, Scanner, Twilight Circus Dub Sound System, Komet, The Opus, Jonah Sharp, DJ Swamp, Eight Frozen Modules, Norscq, The Mellowtrons, and last but definitely not least, the Jack Dangers/Ben Stokes project M.B.M vs. D.H.S. (Whew!). These artists pay homage to Storm The Studio with a combination of hip hop, dub, and experimental soundscapes, which truly shows the respect that these groups have for Meat Beat Manifesto, but at the same time, highlights their individual visions of what Storm The Studio meant to them.
In addition to R.M.X.S., I would recommend everything by Meat Beat Manifesto, and everything with a Tino Corp. label on it. Hows that for unbiased? Happy shopping!
Project Gotham Racing 2
Ill be the first to admit that Im not a hard-core gamer, or a soft-core gamer for that matter. But I do fancy myself an aficionado of the high BPM
electronic music. So Malaco Music Group and Microsoft have released Project Gotham Racing 2, the second installment in the highly successful Xbox game, and the Project Gotham Racing 2 Electronica - The Soundtrack Series (the series also includes Alternative and Hip-Hop). This is an absolutely brilliant idea which, while in the same vein as the Wipeout XL soundtrack and game, allows you the freedom to listen to whatever genre you would like while playing the game (via the car radio), or if you dont play video games, you simply purchase the CD that most strikes your fancy. The Electronica CD is everything you would expect from a racing game: high energy and high BPM music, some of which harkens back to early 90s rave and house music, and some that feel manic and industrial. Sort of like all of my moods when Im driving! No matter what music your into, this soundtrack series is bound to please.
WIRE LIVE at LEE's PALACE
El Destructo/The Tyrones
Richmonds, Rochester, NY, 1.4.03
- Bill Judkins
Frankly, I'm not qualified to review a rock show, but is anyone really "qualified" to review anything? I haven't spent the same amount of time in the Rochester, NY rock scene as Ed Repard, vocalist for El Destructo, but I can say this: I make it point to check out his shows when I can for the simple fact that he works so hard at his music, he's come a really long way in the last, say, 6-8 years developing his sound and he, Jimmy and Ryan put on a kick ass show.
Lyrically, Ed is very clever, although, like most rockers you can only make out just so much. The band is really tight, these guys must eat, breath and sleep these riffs. The interplay between Jimmy and Ed as front men is always funny. Jimmy probably didn't listen to his mother when she told him, "you're face is gonna' stay that way...". They are very clever showmen injecting a lot of energy and personality into their performances.
There's an irony to an El Destructo show that big fans can relate to and new fans would grow to learn and love. The songs are ass-kickin', punk laced with shades of some of Ed's influences of blues, early punk and garage. The irony is that these guys are having such a good time up there, they really move a crowd with their anthem-like, catchy rock . They use elements of surprise to keep the energy level up when they end one song, wait a split second and they're onto the next song. The show is crafted to keep your interest.
The Tyrones, fronted by Ken Staples were a pleasant surprise. Again, I don't spend enough time in the scene to really have an opinion, but I will say this: Ken's got it goin' on as a front man. Most memorable was his cover of a Smiths standard reinvented for rock show memorability.
We'll be talking to Ed Repard on camera very soon about his forthcoming, debut release among other things. Look for it!