I didn’t intend to pull another disappearing act, but being unable to work on one’s own computer has a detrimental effect on blogging. (When, o when, will Europe go wireless?) Back now from two weeks in London and Cologne with way more news than I can cover here, so just a few notes to get back in blogging mode.
First of all, big up Stelfox for the hospitality and classic English breakfast (my new production alias is going to be called “Blood Pudding” in your honor), Matt Woebot for the “Dibby Dibby Sound” 12” (Soft Pink Truth meets breakstep? Zinc and Soundmurderer meet Japanese avant-folkers Ghost?), Luka for consenting to come down to Plastic People for a Forward-affiliated night featuring Slimzee (it weren’t so bad now, were it?), Steve G and Nick Kilroy for representing at my Tate talk, man like Nick Docherty for the drinks and listage at Fabric, Nick Craddock for being him own sweet self, and probably a lot more that I’m forgetting – and that’s just London.
As for Cologne, what can I say – that’s a trip I’ve been waiting some seven years for, ever since I had my first vague inklings of the city’s strength thanks to records from Profan, Karaoke Kalk, Mouse on Mars, and other forces circa ’97. The city didn’t disappoint, from the droolingly fantastic Kompakt shop* (they really ought to supply logo bibs, to keep us vinyl Pavlovians from dribbling all over the pristine stock, which is ordered not only by genre and label but by catalogue number within each section) to the hospitality of the Kompakt, Sub Static, and Areal crews. I joked that I would arrive with an empty record bag and come home with a full one, and damned if I didn’t outdo my wishful quip – between purchases and promos I came home loaded down with an overflowing record crate plus two triple-bagged parcels of 12”s. (No thanks to German Wings for the 100 euro overweight fee!)
I barely know where to begin with a description of my haul, but highlights include:
-- Turner, “After Work” Carsten Jost Dial-remix (Ladomat 2000), played to masterful effect by Tobias Thomas at Total Konfusion
-- Phoenix, Alphabetical (Source) – a surprise hit in the Kompakt offices
-- Remixes for Lawrence by Carsten Jost, Isolée, et al (Dial) – an oldie but goodie
-- Geili Kylie, “Can’t Get You Out/Sahara” (white) – bizarre, clunky synthpop cover of the hit featuring male vocals – cheeky! creepy!
-- Donnacha Costello, “Grape” (Minimise) – classic minimal techno that’s as functional as it is moody
-- “I Need a Freak/Superfreak” (white) – bootleg electro-house remixes of Sexual Harassment classic from a well-known Cologne producer
-- W.B., three white-label 12”s from Wighnomy Brothers, remixing female vocalists I can’t identify into delicate, blowsy click-house (and schaffel) instaclassics
-- Panache, “Unicorn/Cheval” 10” (Atavisme) – Jackson and Pepe Bradock getting deeper than deep with strings and golden rattling hi-hats
-- Sten, Restless EP (Sender) – Lawrence showing a harder edge, though still well melancholic, under another name; two stun guns for the Sten gen
-- Frivolous, Coquitlam BC EP, 1 of 2 (Karloff) – Background-affiliated artist with a quad of hard-to-place house tunes, bright and sunny but still decidedly off-center; like Herbert remixing Blaze
-- Duplex 100, Shooting Star EP (Onitor) – juicy analog techno/house with echoes of Morgan Geist, Fabrice Lig
-- Dirt Crew, Cleaning Up the Ghetto EP (MBF) – dirty Chicago house on new Traum offshoot; wouldn’t sound out of place on Robsoul
-- Rabimmel Rabummel Rabum Bum Bum EP (Areal) – Basteroid, Konfekt, Metope and Ada getting naaaasty on four tunes dedicated to a children’s St. Martin’s Day carol, of all things; Ada is, as ever, organ-tastic, and when the bass hits, it’s like the sky peeling open
-- Robag Wruhme, Wuzzelbud “KK” (Musik Krause) – double LP of itchy, scratchy, raw-rubbed, salt-scrubbed drum machinations and glitch funk from the genius Wruhme, due out in June (that’s right I’m on some upfront shit!)
-- and last but not least… Westbam and Nena, “Oldschool Baby” (piano mix), featured on Mayer’s Fabric mix. I’m not afraid to ape the master!
And that’s just the shortlist. More updates soon…
* Photo above is from as-yet unbuilt studio spaces in the sub-basement of Kompakt's five-storey command center