I Just Want A Good Beat: New Album Reviews

in Bittles' Magazine

Music | Bittles’ Magazine: The music column from the end of the world

A wise man once said that life is too short for introductions. So,this week JOHN BITTLES is going to skip the formalities and dives right in.

Deee-Lite World CliqueOriginally released back in‭ ‬1990,‭ ‬World Clique by New York disco queens‭ ‬Deee-Lite symbolised the wave of optimism sweeping through western culture at the time.‭ ‬Along with acts such as‭ ‬De La Soul,‭ ‬The Beloved,‭ ‬A Tribe Called Quest and‭ ‬The Stone Roses,‭ ‬the band formed of‭ ‬Dimitry Brill,‭ ‬Towa Tei and Lady Miss Kier brought a much needed sense of fun to the musical world.‭ ‬Containing the massive‭ ‬Groove Is In The Heart,‭ ‬World Clique heralded a band full of mischief and character.‭ ‬This month the album receives a welcome reissue,‭ ‬allowing a whole new generation to get lost within the band’s funk-filled jams.‭ ‬Highlights include the fabulous deep bass bounce of‭ ‬Good Beat,‭ ‬the low-slung acid squiggles of‭ ‬Try Me On…I’m Very You,‭ ‬the trance-tastic squelch of‭ What Is Love‭?‬,‭ ‬and the disco bassline throb of E.S.P.‭ ‬Groove Is In The Heart meanwhile,‭ ‬sounds as wonderful as ever,‭ ‬and if you haven’t lost it in a club to this at least once in your life then feel free to hang your head in shame.‭ ‬Decadent,‭ ‬fruity and‭ ‬funky as hell,‭ ‬even if you weren’t born when this first came out‭ ‬World Clique will make your day.‭ ‬9/10.

Call Super Fabric 92Next up we have‭ ‬Call Super with the fabulous‭ ‬Fabric‭ ‬92,‭ ‬one of the best DJ mixes to have delighted these ears for a while.‭ ‬The modern mix CD can be a somewhat dull beast‭! ‬Some feature DJs trying too hard,‭ ‬pummelling the listener with a selection of bland obscurities,‭ ‬or boring all but the most committed of dance fans with an unimaginative barrage of beats.‭ ‬This is why finding a quality mix CD in‭ ‬2017‭ ‬is a rare and precious thing‭! ‬Inspired by the late hours when only the die hard clubbers remain,‭ ‬Call Super selects a collection of bass-heavy‭ ‬and beautifully hazy beats.‭ ‬With tracks by the likes of‭ ‬Objekt,‭ ‬Photek,‭ ‬Carl Craig,‭ ‬Shanti Celeste,‭ ‬Convextion and‭ ‬Call Super himself involved,‭ ‬the resulting mix is‭ ‬sexy,‭ ‬and unbelievably deep.‭ ‬While it will sound amazing on a quality club soundsystem,‭ ‬it’s on headphones where the album really comes alive.‭ ‬For anyone tired of the monotony peddled by most commercially available mix CDs,‭ ‬Fabric‭ ‬92‭ ‬will give you faith in the medium again.‭ ‬9/10.

No Future‭“‬For me,‭ ‬the idea of techno has always been‭ ‬new‭ ‬music‭” ‬explains Moiré in the press notes for his latest LP,‭ “‬not reinventing the wheel necessarily,‭ ‬because everything’s been done before.‭ ‬I just want to make and hear something new‭”‬.‭ ‬If this was the unambitious aim behind the electronic swoon of‭ ‬No Future the results are more far reaching and profound than those words would have you believe.‭ ‬With vocal contributions from‭ ‬James Massiah and long-time‭ ‬LTJ Bukem collaborator‭ ‬MC DRS the album is a futuristic‭ ‬soundclash where electronica meets techno and funk in a room and decide to start a band.‭ ‬Opener‭ ‬Sequence‭ ‬1‭ ‬is a fantastically deep example of just how sensual and evocative Detroit techno can be,‭ ‬paving the way majestically for the vintage electro of‭ ‬Lost You.‭ ‬Other highlights include the sample-heavy funk of‭ ‬Opium,‭ ‬the warm synths of‭ ‬Casual,‭ ‬the footwork grind of‭ ‬Jupiter,‭ ‬the‭ ‬Carl Craig-esque‭ ‬Facade,‭ ‬and the ambient swell of‭ ‬Auteur‭ (‬Outro‭)‬.‭ ‬The whole LP is fantastic though,‭ ‬and amply rewards those with the attention span and the patience to listen from beginning to end.‭ ‬9/10.

Dreamy HarbourBest known for their cavernous techno,‭ ‬Tresor Records celebrate their‭ ‬25th anniversary this winter with a killer compilation of spacey ambiance and subdued beats.‭ ‬With tunes by the cream of techno,‭ ‬Dreamy Harbor is an album perfect for closing your eyes and letting its deep synth washes take you away.‭ ‬Opener‭ ‬Solanus Reprise by Vainqueur‭ ‬doesn’t do much over its twelve minute running time,‭ ‬yet it makes a wonderfully atmospheric introduction to the joys to come.‭ ‬Other picks include‭ ‬Terrence Dixon’s‭The Switch,‭ ‬which is gorgeously jazzy,‭ ‬and the bass-infused groove of Electric Dub by‭ ‬Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald.‭ ‬Also make sure to check the loose funk groove of‭ ‬Silverness by‭ ‬Thomas Felhmann,‭ ‬the dreamy IDM of‭ ‬Claudia Anderson’s‭ ‬Phase,‭ ‬and the smoke-filled dirge of‭ ‬Odawah Jam by Marcellus.‭ ‬With just enough techno crunch for any‭ ‬Tresor fan,‭ ‬Dreamy Harbor is a record full of contemplative highs.‭ ‬8/10.

DJ KicksMatthew Dear is an enigmatic DJ/Producer who uses a string of aliases to create a myriad of musical styles.‭ ‬From the tough as nails techno of Audion and the staunch minimalism of‭ ‬False,‭ ‬to the electronic pop of his output under his own name,‭ ‬Matthew is an artist usually brimming with ideas.‭ ‬His selection for‭ ‬!K7‭’‬s DJ Kicks series is a coherent and functional collection of house and techno held together by crisp‭ ‬4/4‭ ‬beats.‭ ‬Over the course of‭ ‬25‭ ‬tracks the mix builds from New York-style house towards a a pounding techno peak.‭ ‬As the set follows the club-focused template of recent outings by‭ ‬Daniel Avery and‭ ‬Marcel Dettmann the home listening experience is a somewhat limited affair.‭ ‬Yet,‭ ‬there are many aural gems to be found within these tightly focused tools,‭ ‬with songs by Mahal,‭ ‬Monsieur Georget,‭ ‬ItaloJohnson,‭ ‬Vin Sol,‭ ‬Duff Disco,‭ ‬Markus Enochson and‭ ‬Simian Mobile Disco all standing out.‭ ‬While the album isn’t something you will find yourself returning to time and time again,‭ ‬Matthew Dear’s‭ ‬DJ Kicks is a solid selection of crunchy grooves.‭ ‬7/10.

Earthen SeaA special mention must also go to:‭ ‬An Act Of Love by Earthen Sea‭ – ‬Inspired by‭ “‬being out in the city at night,‭ ‬wandering around a large urban area after dark‭”‬,‭ ‬Jacob Long’s new album merges lush ambiance and dub techno with aplomb,‭ ‬9/10,‭ ‬Future Bliss by‭ ‬Glow In The Dark‭ – ‬Harry Miller debuts on‭ ‬Sonar Kollektiv with a playful,‭ ‬sample-heavy record which sounds a little like‭ ‬The Avalanches if they spent more time lounging in the sun,‭ ‬8/10,‭ ‬Aleae by Arandel‭ – ‬Composed of five related pieces,‭ ‬the organic hypnotism of‭ ‬Aleae I,‭ ‬the techno dirge of Aleae III,‭ ‬and the epic trance of‭ ‬Aleae V are sure to enrich your day,‭ ‬8/10,‭ ‬Memories Are Now by‭ ‬Jesca Hoop‭ – ‬Those with an allergy to all things folk won’t be won over by this,‭ ‬yet give it a go and Jesca’s evocative vocals and disquieting lyrics will embrace you like a tiger pouncing on its prey,‭ ‬7.5/10,‭ ‬Dirty Projectors by‭ ‬Dirty Projectors‭ ‬– A trip down the beard-lined streets of Hoxton this February will likely reveal the strangely enticing indie funk brewed by these one-time‭ ‬Björk collaborators to be the hipsters‭‘ ‬musical choice of note,‭ ‬7/10,‭ ‬Dreamstate Of A Bellringer by‭ ‬S.A.M.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Eight tracks of melodic and tranquil house music which will sit as nicely in a warm up set as on the stereo at home,‭ ‬8/10,‭ ‬and‭ ‬Volumi Dinamici by‭ ‬Claudio PRC‭ – ‬Out now on the ever reliable‭ ‬Semantica imprint,‭ ‬Claudio delivers a masterclass in deep techno grooves,‭ ‬8/10.

Slow PornAnd let’s not forget:‭ ‬Instrumentals For Sirens by‭ ‬Beate Bartel/Gudrun Gut‭ – ‬An instrumental version of‭ ‬Myra Davies‭’‬ Sirens album with Berlin sonic explorers‭ ‬Beate Bartel and‭ ‬Gudrun Gut given a side apiece to deliver some aurally thrilling electronic jams,‭ ‬9/10,‭ ‬Slow Porn Présente Prise De Vue‭ ‬1‭ ‬by‭ ‬V/A‭ – ‬The duo of‭ ‬Remain and‭ ‬Phred Noir re-emerge on‭ ‬My Favorite Robot with a stunning compilation of mid-paced house and slow,‭ ‬sensual grooves,‭ ‬8/10,‭ ‬Going Going Going by Tosca‭ – ‬Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber return to the chilled out dub with which they made their name on their most enjoyable album in years,‭ ‬8/10,‭ ‬Metabolism by‭ ‬Sigha‭ ‬-‭ ‬The dubstep originator continues to journey down dark techno roads with the dense electronic grooves on album number two,‭ ‬8/10,‭ ‬Epoch by‭ ‬Tycho‭ – ‬Now a fully formed four piece band,‭ ‬Tycho‭ ‬deliver a rich,‭ ‬expansive musical experience full of organic electronica,‭ ‬7.5/10,‭ ‬The Best Of Get Physical‭ ‬2016‭ ‬by V/A‭ – ‬With four mixes and‭ ‬46‭ ‬tracks by the likes of‭ ‬Kölsch,‭ ‬M.A.N.D.Y.,‭ ‬DJ Pierre,‭ ‬Tim Green and Phuture‭ ‬to choose from,‭ ‬any dance music fan will find much to enjoy here,‭ ‬7/10,‭ ‬Swimming In The Shadows by‭ ‬Blue Fields‭ – ‬Mike Shannon‭ ‬teams up with guitarist Takeshi Nishimoto for a second album of classical inspired songs,‭ ‬7/10,‭ ‬and‭ ‬A Decade Ilian Tape by‭ ‬V/A‭ – ‬Out late February,‭ ‬experimental house imprint‭ ‬Ilian Tape celebrate ten years in the game with a triple‭ ‬12‭” ‬set of deep bass bangers from Skee Mask,‭ ‬Stenny,‭ ‬Dario Zenker and more,‭ ‬8.5/10.

| JOHN BITTLES