« Grainy Shots, Grainy Sound | Main | Drowning in a sea of love »

From the back of the room


Brief update from HQ: holidays, moving, and that trip to Germany — not to mention no internet access, aside from a neighbor's fluctuating wi-fi, and no gas (thus hot water) until today — have made regular posting a bit difficult. (Best for you; no hot water engenders personal hygiene habits that may well fool the olfactory filters on the best-designed web browsers.) But the studio is installed, the Ikea assembled, the terrace green, and one lonely Technics has a new twin and a playmate named Allen & Heath to keep them company. So hopefully productivity will soon be like nougat, on the up and up.

Quick list of current listening:
Markus Guenter, Lovely Society (Ware): astonishingly deep (sorry, there's no other way around it) merger of sleepytime house and backfat for the floor, equally informed by Herbert and Dettinger, with Isolée and Moodymann offering advice from the wings. Judging from this, Roman Flügel's bizarre drum-machine-and-vibraphone album with Christopher Dell, and some aquamarine Repeat Orchestra tracks coming out from Real Soon, in 2006 leftfield house and techno are going to be taking it low and scuffy, with a weird half-genuflection to soul.

Mobilee Records: I keep thinking of them as a "minimal" label, but every time I play one of their records out, or hear it from the dancefloor, I'm tempted to say they're one of the heaviest labels out there right now, all "Argy" flex and Wighnomy stutter and Bpitch bite. Top of the heap is labelhead Anja Schneider & Sebo K's Side Leaps EP; both sides are absolutely storming. (A recent remix 12", which I haven't heard aside from clips on Wordandsound's site, features mixes from Magda and M.i.a.) Pan-Pot's Obscentiy EP (otherwise known as "that 'she needs to get laid' track") features some great DBX-meets-Wruhme moments. These guys have almost as much reverb as Sleep Archive, and that's saying something. Along similar lines, I'm also caning Liebe Detai lately — more extra-quality hyperkinetic, would-be minimal madness, with just enough hooks but never too many.

Ricardo Villalobos, Achso (Cadenza): supposedly just a double twelve-inch, but if there were more than four cuts here they'd call it an LP. Gone is the euphoric house of "808 the Bass Queen" and gone the almost-pop of "Easy Lee" and "Dexter," but mourn not, because they haven't vanished, just been sewn into the infinitely shirred and folded fabric (is this guy the Issey Miyake of techno, or what) of his most oblique techno abstractions. Over at ILM Dominique Leone said something about these tracks shooting off like tree branches, and she's right: his rhythms seem to carry within them the seeds mapped to the exact proportions of their future projections, that whole organic/fractal/Fibonacci thing that's such a lousily tempting metaphor for music hacks, but actually makes some kind of sense here. Every track contains multitudes upon multitudes of ideas; some take center stage for minutes on end, and some play out their bit parts moving mountains of byte-sized data in the background, tireless as their what-me-sleep? programmer — but never exhausting in and of themselves, possibly because they escape individual attention almost entirely, only surfacing as moving parts in a vast complexity. This is biology music, and maybe it's because of this that I think this is Ricardo at his most musical. It's everything The Au Harem wanted to be but wasn't; everything Alcachofa was pointing at in its densest, most liquid (thanks for that Ronan, I think) tracks. Achso is humid like a bog, which might explain the vastness of orchids within it. Can I blame my florid prose on this record? I will. Call this record whatever you want, progressive doodlery, ketaminimal, the afterparty after the fall, acid free jazz, I don't care. All and none of it is true, and if you hear Autechre and a whole lot of other things in there (some have said Talk Talk; I'd say that Shriekback song "Coelecanth"), you're probably right, but like me what's probably flipping you out is that the vast majority of it is something you couldn't put your finger on in a million years, which is exactly the way you want it to be. All that, and it still manages to be groovy as fuck.


Great write-up on the Achso album. And Mobilee is definatly one to watch. Im looking forward to checking out your photos from the previous article.

dominique = he

oops, sorry! i had no idea...

Great remarks on the new Villalobos... I've attempted to explain him to my nonplussed friends via the whole "organic/fractal/Fibonacci" bs unsuccessfully but you did a great job here. Kudos

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)