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June 28, 2008

A Lidell Bit More


Sometimes, to the shock of some, I like music that doesn't go oonce oonce oonce; it is probably some sort of professional failing that I don't write about those other things very often. Jamie Lidell used to go oonce oonce oonce; now he goes croon croon croon, and the funny thing is, I think I like him better more now than then. (Super_Collider will always hold a special place in my heart, however.) Strange people are giving a fair amount of guff to Lidell's new album, Jim, seemingly because it's too earnest, too knowing, too pretty, not as manic as his live sets, or some combination of those. That is of course their right, although I disagree strenuously (as I attempted to argue in a review in Pitchfork back at the end of April, though in retrospect I suspect the topic sort of got away from me--sometimes, the records we like the most, we end up liking for the most nameless reasons).

Anyway, if Jamie Lidell is the sort of character who interests you, and he should be, you can read my feature on him in the June issue of Spin magazine. The print version has gone off the shelves, but you can read it online here. (The text may look really, really small in your browser — click once on the page and it will enlarge. It's still really small, but at least marginally less unmanageably so.)

If you're really a glutton for punishment, I'll shortly be posting the full, unedited transcript — almost 8000 words worth. Unfortunately, Jamie's personality — sort of generous and guarded all at once, proudly self-deprecating — doesn't really jump off the page. Unsurprisingly, it's all in the voice...

June 27, 2008

NPR baffled by Hercules and Love Affair

Something tells me that NPR isn't really feeling Hercules and Love Affair. (Scroll ahead to minute nine or so for a suspiciously familiar sounding quote, followed by the question, "What is this 'American dance music' they speak of?" Someone's been reading their Pitchfork!)

Also: I realize that I'm more politically correct than most of my peers (I went to Vassar in the freaking '90s, ok? I was injected with serums! It's not my fault!) but is anyone else surprised to hear an NPR DJ voicing concern that "Antony might come down to the studio and possibly bitch-slap me"??? NPR: Not just for liberals any more!

June 26, 2008

Download this

Peter Van Hoesen's "L.O.C.," backed with my remix, is finally available for download from Beatport.

Go to Beatport.comGet These TracksAdd This Player

Check it out, and stay tuned for my Salt & Vinegar EP, out July 8 on Lan Muzic. Much to my surprise, it's been charted by Josh Wink, Djinxx, Adultnapper and Mike Shannon, had radio play in Ireland, England, Germany and New Zealand, and received positive feedback from the likes of Tim Paris, Alland Byallo, October, Sebo K, Laurent Garnier (!), Dave Mothersole and others... Yeah, I'm excited. (Wouldn't you be?)

You can hear all three tracks in way-better-than-MySpace quality over on my Fairtilizer page. (Have you seen Fairtilizer yet? If not, you should... Lot of potential there to complement, or best, MySpace, Last.FM, and other audio sharing sites.) Here's a teaser:

June 22, 2008

Summer reading


Along with my colleagues Douglas Wolk, Marcello Carlin, Chuck Eddy, Michaelangelo Matos, and Peter Shapiro, among others, I've got an essay in the new collection Time Out 1000 Songs to Change Your Life, a book I'd eagerly suggest as an addition to any music-related summer-reading list.

Despite the title, this isn't really a book of lists or blurbs (although there are plenty of worthwhile annotated lists, like "Heartbreak in 20 Songs" or "Top 10 Awkward Time Signatures"). Arranged thematically into chapters like "Being There," "Fear of Music," and "Countdown to Ecstasy," the collection highlights the kind of longform (well, mid-form, at least) criticism that you don't see much of in magazines nowadays. Matos explores songs about food; Shapiro gets at the heart of disco's curious erotic failure; Mike Shallcross does drugs; Eddy locates a Mexican imaginary in American country music; Wolk breaks down the bum-out. And my essay, opening the chapter on place, explores the curious connections between electronic music and the urban environment, beginning with the rumble of the Tube as it trundles beneath Fabric, passing through Düsseldorf and Detroit and Berlin, and stopping off to get lost with Christina Kübisch and, um, Gary Winogrand along the way.

June 21, 2008

Feel like you've been hit by a semi?

"All journalists can cop to this: The semicolon allows woozy clauses to lean on each other like drunks for support."

Being someone who has repeatedly been asked to refrain from wanton semicolonics--particularly by my editors of the Britishish persuasion--this defense of the semicolon, however shaky, feels a lot like sweet, sweet vindication.

June 19, 2008

Got Gotye?

Some interesting backstory on Supermayer's unreleased remix of Gotye over at Good Weather for Airstrikes, apparently written by someone who works for the label in question. Here's an excerpt:

"What we were hoping for was something more along the lines of the German duo’s mind-blowing interpretation of Rufus Wainwright’s “Tiergarten”. “Supermayer Lost In Tiergarten” is perhaps the most technically impressive remix I’ve ever heard, and is in itself a brilliant platform on which to make a case for the remix as a legitimate artform, so obviously we weren’t expecting their work on “Hearts” to eclipse it, we were just hoping for something similarly bold and experimental. The final product, however, plays it a bit too close to the cuff, a good, but perhaps overly safe and faithful interpretation of the original, keeping the same principle beat (albeit a bit more dubby) and just upping the atmospherics a bit. "

Read more (and more on Gotye in general), and check out both the original mix of "Hearts a Mess" plus the remixes from Lull, Ocelot, and Supermayer -- and, as a bonus, download Supermayer's awe-inspiring remix of Rufus Wainwright's "Tiergarten," at least as long as it stays up.

June 16, 2008

Yes Wave: Elemental Minimalism

A user-generated "extended mix" of Philip Glass' "Geometry of Circles" for Sesame Street (1979).

June 11, 2008

May 2008 Chart


Tracks/EPs: out now

Tobias., I Can't Fight the Feeling EP (Wagon Repair)
Four phenomenal tracks of sinewy machine techno from a true minimal master.

Sety, "Morgane" (Circus Company)
Hard to believe it's been four years since this guy last produced a track; finally, Circus Company's jefe delivers a stunning EP featuring two buoyant, expansive tracks plus a toughened up remix from Guillaume and the Coutu Dumonts.

Move D + Benjamin Brunn, "Honey" (Smallville)
From what might be my favorite album of the year, a slightly tougher tinge with echoes of Chain Reaction, Vladislav Delay and Jichael Mackson. Whether you sink to the bottom or skim the oily surface is up to you.

Oleg Poliakov, "Midnight Vultures" (Circus Company)
Sure, everyone and his sister is doing this kind of shoompy, two-chord house right now—but when done with this kind of flair, I'm not going to complain.

Grimes Adhesif, "Fearless Fun" (Curle)
I adore the hissing electrical fire of Efdemin's "Confused Live Jam" remix, but I keep coming back to the blunt-nosed funk of this weird, burrowing creature.

Mathias Masteño, "Dixie's Diner" (Upon You)
Here's a new twist on the deep-house template: chorus of kalimbas as heard from the bottom of a cenote.

Stimming, "Kleine Nachtmusik" (Buzzin' Fly)
Those pads! Those cans! Those horns! Clunk at its most graceful.

Redshape, "Robot" (Music Man)
Storming analog gusts over a rhythm track that feels like a roof being pulled apart shingle by shingle.

Rose & Ulysse, Promethee EP (Motoguzzi)
Minimal techno goes back out into the cold, where it belongs.

Photonz, "Trembler" (Dirty)
Broken machines sing summer lullabies in the key of cough syrup.

Tracks/EPs: up next

Jacopo Carreras, "One Sentence (Efdemin Remix)" (Lan Muzic)

DJ Koze, "Let's Love" (IRR)

David K feat. Opium, "Western Journey" (Freak 'n Chic)

Haruki Matsuo, "Dankan"/"Triangle in the Box" (Rush Hour Ltd.)

Wareika, "Impulse" (Connaisseur Superieur)

Van Rivers, "Spaces I" (Sthlm Ltd)

Los Updates, "Pictures of You (Tobias Remix)" (Cadenza)

Chic Miniature, "Kimono" (Crosstown Rebels)

Stimming, "Anger" (Liebe Detail)

Philippe Cam, "I Want a Car Like Yours" (Karat)

June 10, 2008


Today, pigs fly: a tantalizing chunk of Kompakt's album and compilation catalogue went up on eMusic -- including albums from Thomas Fehlmann, Gui Boratto, the Field, Kaito, Dettinger, Markus Guentner, Closer Musik, and Superpitcher, plus Pop Ambient 2008, Köln Kompakt, Total 2 and Total 7. You can read my intro to the label here.