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Archive for the ‘Techno’ Category

Hell – This Is For You (1998)

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Ah, Friday evening, time for some smart, ear-bleeding (ish) German techno ….

Listening to this tonight, Hell’s “This Is For You” sounds like the blueprint for what was perfected by LCD Soundsystem seven years later in 2005!

I’d been a fan of, ahem, “Mr” Hell since 1995 when I bought his “Original Street Techno” 12″ single after hearing a track on the much missed John Peel Show. In those days, he was trading under the moniker of DJ Hell but he apparently lost the DJ vibe sometime over the next 36 months.

No matter, this is classic German techno from the seminal Disko B label out of Munich. The spoken word vocals from Melissa Logan from Chicks On Speed elevates the song to the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime!

What’s not to like?

Model 500 – Storm (2015)

April 5, 2015 Leave a comment

One of the founding kings of techno, Juan Atkins, returns to top form on “Storm” from the new Model 500 album released a few weeks ago!

Sounding not unlike Maurizio at the peak of his powers (check here), the track rolls back the years to the days when Basic Channel and Chain Reaction defined the apogee of minimalist techno …

Caribou – I Can’t Do Without You (2014)

January 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Around this time of the new year, I finally catch up with all the stuff released in the previous year.

I religiously scour the “best of” lists from The Wire Magazine, Mojo, Uncut, Record Collector, Pitchfork, Metacritic, etc, and, after a bit of judicious checking via the good offices of Spotify Premium, I purchase a dozen or so CDs that warrant inclusion on the bestmusicofalltime.

Now, for the romantics who follow this blog (good evening sir!), this might sound a little cold and calculating; but it is the only method I find to be effective in sorting out the wheat from the chaff given the constraints on my budget and time (and I am a professional economist so this sort of optimisation technique is deeply ingrained!) To be fair, it is a tad cold and calculating – apologies!

Anyway, it took seconds to decide that Caribou’s 2014 album “Our Love” qualifies as a stone cold classic and this, for me, is the standout track.

To be honest, I find the album to be a slightly dissatisfying affair. At one level, every single track of leftfield deep house (new genre alert!) is a winner but, for some reason, it feels as if each track starts midway through its actual duration and then ends somewhat prematurely. While this may always leave the listener “always wanting more”, it means that you never have the 9 minute piece in which your soul can be immersed and dissolved.

“I Can’t Do Without You” is a prime example. The album version frustrates with its brevity. Fortunately, an extended mix is available from iTunes and, happily, it deals with any frustration …The former and then the latter.

 

Monoton – π 3.141592653589793 (1981-83)

August 27, 2013 Leave a comment

I only stumbled upon Monoton a few years ago and it still surprises me that nothing that they did impacted upon my consciousness during the 1980-1983 period when they were most active. To quote from the usual sources:

Monoton was founded in 1979 by hypermedia wizard Konrad Becker as an art project that underwent various transformations and collaborations in its exploration of psycho-active sound programming and its psychosocial contextualizing.

Staggering that such a toe-tapping, chart aiming, project didn’t reach the ears of a callow 16 year old…. Living In Hong Kong…. Who still appreciated a bit of AC/DC alongside the Joy Division canon and who wasn’t averse to a spot of Madness and Adam and the Ants. Where was Trevor Horn when he was needed?

Nonetheless, I now have three Monoton CDs which are worthy, but rewarding, discs but had not heard this particular track until this evening. Using the wonderful Spotify to check out new tracks, I stumbled upon this ditty which appears on the 2009 Monoton release “Eight Lost Tracks”. The other seven are very tedious but, by the magic of Amazon, I was able to purchase the one good track on the album for £0.89. Not sure what the hypermedia wizard would make of that bit of business but, no matter, here it is.

Suffice to say that this track was originally recorded sometime between 1981 and 1983 and, three listenings in, it is clearly well worth a place in the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime. What to expect? Well, perfect, “toytown” techno whose innocence and simplicity only adds to the allure. It has no proper beginning nor, indeed, a proper end. It just is 4:54 of pop perfection.

Take it away Konrad …

Vainqueur – Reduce 2 (1996)

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Into my third (and last …) week on holiday and reacquainting myself with the genius of minimal techno on the Basic Channel and Chain Reaction labels from the mid 1990s. Trawling through my CDs and vinyl, I stumbled upon this superb, relentless and unforgiving example of the Chain Reaction genre.

For the trainspotters out there, Vainqueur is the alter ego of Rene Lowe but, frankly, this adds nothing of use to the diagnosis or appreciation of this track. Once underway, it never stops.

Hypnotic and perfect techno. Play very very loud.

Redcell (aka B12) – Solitude (1996)

January 2, 2013 3 comments

B12 were one of THE great ambient techno bands of the early 1990s and were one of the leading British contributions to the “second wave” of Detroit techno whose leading lights included Carl Craig, Jeff Mills, Octave One and Underground Resistance.

This is a really obscure track that was originally released on a vinyl promo in 1996 but which didn’t get an official release until 2007 when it appeared on B12’s Practopia EP. Subsequently, it was released on CD on Volume 7 of the wonderful “B12 Records Archive” series.

Wonderfully mournful, minimal techno …

 

Asaf Avidan – Reckoning Song (2008) and Wankelmut Remix (2012)

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Stumbled on the Wankelmut remix of this while surfing Beatport this evening.

The remix of the track only really begins to hit the heights from about 3 minutes in for me. However, the original is just over 2 and a half minutes of genius and was originally released in 2008.

The plot thickens because Asaf Avidan is an Israeli singer songwriter; a son of diplomats in the Israeli Foreign Office. An Israeli Joe Strummer perhaps?!

Discard any prejudices you may have because this sounds like a cross between Bon Iver and Billie Holiday … a match made in heaven.

Altogether now …

One day baby, we’ll be old

Oh baby, we’ll be old

And think of all the stories that we could have told

The original and then the remix …

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