Cut and Paste Folk. Consitently inventive, The Books were performance artists before their sonic experimentation was released as audio, and here's a snippet from another strong album, to follow the previous ones.
Classic metal, with a few nips and tucks, courtesy of the mighty Twitch
, a fearless DJ with a knowledge of music that's second to none (and more importantly plays them out)
laidback sheffield electro - where the people look good / where the music is loud
. this sounds best coming through in a mix. so anthemic, with such a familiar ripped-off sound, you're convinced you've heard it before
Eno-esque coda. The silence and feedback crescendo, James Murphy's band know how to make an exit. an elegant way to end an album.
Blasteroid motors to a cresendo of distorted electro house: strafing guitars, stunted and soaring organs, like a dark rock ritual. Using the same set the controls for the heart of the sun
sound that connects Vitalic and Alter Ego, without being so blunt, but like label mates Ada it thumps in all the right places.
Devin stops for a moment to think..... hip-hop is rarely this contemplative.
bubblekrunk. another crunk RnB mutation, nivea doesn't know if she wants to hang with that unsavory
crowd in the background or bounce along with her lolipop.
Metal. Jennifer Herrema from Royal Trux
, returns on her own as RTX. She brought the rock to the partnership with Hegerty and duly turns everything up to 11 on this track, distorting her vocals in a metal haze.
Music for cruising the block - grooves don't get slinkier than this and sometimes it makes more sense without emcees.
Epic and intimate, superpitcher's done it again.
John Peel R.I.P.
without john there would be no gabba, without john I wouldn't have the friends I do, he inspired me as a teenager, broadened my taste and generally enriched my love of music. I can hardly express my debt to him.
Pulsing and shimmering like arora borealis
, Jonson matches Larry Heard
s balance of understatement and effervescence. Lighter than air his mobius melody blissfully floats above a metronomic tap, so full of life it almost breathes. Jonson promises much.
Acid Pulpit. There was a strange moment at the end of the 80s when the Buttholes were the greatest band on the planet, they had a reputation for on tour antics: extra-terrestrials on-stage, s3x-change operation visuals, crashing their tour bus onto Michael Stipe's lawn then setting it on fire; but it's the performances they ought to be remembered for.
Platinum pop. I couldn't resist a seductive RnB production from Lil Jon. He keeps a low profile, his signature squawk's muffled in the background - everything about his distinctive production is muted on this track, like sweetening the krunk synths that went primetime with Yeah
. Ciara's presented riding along on a pure tone melody line, it takes the lead, whistling and cooing like a polished up theremin.
Far from bringing the terror promised this is very easy listening, and no less enjoyable for that. It's as if the emcees rap at 78 with backing vocals pitched up to 45, making it sound more like Kanye West than even he dares, but because they all rhyme like they've had a few too many in the studio it gives me a loose g-funk
flashback instead. If you don't like it so laid-back you'd be better off with hum drum
off the same true story
"..this one's going out to anyone who's on the verge of a US tour. Ian Curtis never got this far. good luck guys
" - nick
Out on Fest-Platten
, one of Germany's best kept secrets. You can sense a nervousness behind this track, it's in the pauses, the delays, the elasticity of the acid. It almost sounds like live rave.
Back in 1980 everyone from Talking Heads was encouraged to go off and make a solo album. Their underrated rhythm section Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, set off for Jamaica to record with Lee Perry at Island Records' studios. Perry didn't show so they had a go themselves, cutting and pasting sessions musicians they turned out a track that went number one across the world but still sounds off-beat twenty five years down the line.
One of mixtape party crew hollertronix
, Diplo's sets dipped in and out of krunk, booty, freestyle
and everything between. This too jumps around but doesn't get lost, sparking and popping along with the patois
, then switiching to baille singer Pantera os Danadinhos for a Kraftwerk finale.
Fey melodrama. Normally there isn't much Tears for Fears love on gabba - too ernest, introspective or obviously commercial. I'd always thought they took themselves a little too seriously, but this guitar-n-synth swoon's been nagging me all summer. I didn't even realise it was them.
For his first single in four years Mr Oizo finds a scampering analog arpeggio, it's deadly simple, deadly accurate and effective. Like 1999's Flat Beat
this is minimal techno having lo-frequency fun. Check the video
I've been hearing 'Roses' on the radio too much. I needed to hear this
A remix of a familiar sounding track, released in 1999 on the then mighty Skam. The sleeve notes don't give anything away so let's assume D-Breeze is someone who doesn't want to be known. That's fine, but the track needs to be heard, this is electronica with hooks, shattered funk, haunted vo-choirs, it conjours an eerie euphoria.
Nerd rock, this international trio met at a rainy festival in Norway and four years later find themselves with an micro-hit on the ever intreguing Telle
label. Nothing to upset or impress, it's coy and sweet. There's a nostalgic charm to tracks about teen love, computer camps and 64s
in the 80s (+ this track gives a nod to the Grease Soundtrack.)
, the man behind the Poker Flat
label, teamed up with Frankfurt's DJ T
to produce a this sprawling dance monster a few years ago. It's in no hurry, spending a couple of minutes gathering itself, paced for maximum effect, it doesn't dissappoint
Another mis-placed classic from the early 90s - Koenig Cylinders
is another collaboration between the prolific NY producer John Selway
and Oliver Chesler
better known as The Horrorist
. It twinkles, it stomps, a strange hybrid of shoegaze, trance and pounding pounding techno music. [ thx Gareth
from 1471 ]
Elektro. Anthony Rother's been putting out material since the eighties and his latest album Popkiller
is released on another of his own labels - datapunk
. The anti-pop stance probably won't find him many friends here but his dark
production and sci-fi melodies make up for this.
Dirty South, this woozy pimped out beat swaggers and sways like a cartoon (I'm thinking of the toontown
skyline here): surreal, over-saturated, excessive in every dimension, it's a wonder the song doesn't collapse halfway through.
Another toy epic from the golden era of Italo-disco, luxurious and overbl0wn, it has all the right ingredients: the syrupy, synthetic E-strangled vocals - weary
, banal with a melancholic twinge - with the driest electro percussion and sweet-shop melodies, cheap, day-glo and artificial, that tackiness is the appeal. There are many reasons why italo never took off in the states, the main one being that it arrived at the height of disco sucks
New Wave. Released on a 7" a few years ago, this is an out-take from the metamatic
s recording sessions, one of Foxx
most productive periods. With that immediately recognisable production style, sounding like one of Eno
's darker ambient excursions, his ominious electro creates a murky soundscape. Blank and dystopian, they could be describing the city, the twilight, or maybe the future, but no matter how brutal it sounds there's always some light on the horizon.
Folk. Sincere acoustic moment. I can't bring myself to listen to the rest of the album, to be honest, I'm afraid I might like it
Lounge Epic. Sets off with explosive art rock, an emotional whirlwind it sounds like a band fighting for control, then everything clears, the instruments fall into the background and it turns into an art-jam. So indulgent it's daring.
Neo-Italo. Another one of those mix excerpts I don't have time to ID. Pining android vocals and a compulsive beat, it recalls Kylie's 'can't get you outta my head'
. Taken from a set by DJ TLR
, the man behind global darkness
and the creme organisation
Electro-haus. Marco Passarani
, one of Italy's greatest underground exports, gives us a buzz and bleep re-edit of acid-house history.
Years after it was first issued this was re-released with remixes and managed to chart in germany, but this quirky original, for all I know it might be a cover. is a reminder why Kompakt
's been so important. Uncomfortable with any catagorisations - is it tech house on the wrong speed, teutonic pop, dad house - it doesn't matter, it's still out there on it's own, as the track says as far as never before
What a beat! Swizz Beatz'
production somewhat overshadows the ruff ryders
(no bad thing), but they seem happy to clap along. [thx jd]
. So raw and simple, it manages to sound awkward when the music's blissed out
, and it makes sense
- sweet and nervous but the beat never wavers. A couple of listens and you might never forget this song again.
Anyone who hasn't already heard this
should. People used to question if this was really music when it was first played (almost four years ago), no one had any idea what to make of it. Tough to place its semi-detached House is on the intersection of divas
. Starting with an echo of another track, diffused and atmospheric, this is like watching day-for-night
, or having deja-vu - it makes me wonder what is real
Get two well known songs, play one over the top of the other, make a few adjustments, release it as a new record and you just made history. It's simply the best bootleg
It's 4am music, clockwork dub
with slow-mo electro. Perhaps the artists were too relaxed to decide what genre it was, I shouldn't even try
. Watch out for the remixes coming soon.
RnB. It's a song about dancing, right? I had to upload it, there's far too many songs that don't show up here because cause it was too early to post, then by the time I remember they're everywhere and there doesn't seem as much point - 'yeah' 'toxic' 'run'
Stripped back and echoed
out this moody electro-pop reveals subtle charms. Such a steady tread, it sounds even slower after Rich X
's pop heist, but aren't bootlegs what dub versions are made for? [ thx jmz
Hip-Hop lullaby. For me, the most interesting member of the canada/berlin family (savvy/peaches/gonzales) Mocky
's doing it on his own terms
, the world'll have to catch up with him.
Love Song. Hefty
has consistently produced sweet organic electronica, now founder, John Hughes III
recording as Slicker, indulges a tender RnB moment, so heavily layered it almost drowns in it's own gloss. Shameless slick, it makes no apologies for its excesses
. Can't fault that.
Punk Funk circa 82. Defiantly an act to see live, but looks like we missed them by twenty years. Luckily for us these guys translate that spontaneity
onto vinyl, its clatter bag percussion, handclap frenzy and horns focussed with a stomp. And let's not forget the proto-house piano riffs. [thx stirmonster
oddment rescued from the reject bin. It's the contrast of the daft rave presets and helium hardcore sounds matched up with a regret tinged synth and the desperation of the sample that mark it out, makes me think of lonely robots short-circuiting and happy hardcore
raves in a bleak
sci-fi setting. [thx Gareth
cover, this was picked up and covered by David Gedge
over a year before Slanted and Enchanted
came out. It carries the intense emotional pitch he's synonymous with, but for all it's growling and gnashing there's no regret here. So potent and succinct, it's almost perfect
Acid Folk from acoustic collective. This, the last track on the album
, is somewhat uncharacteristic: uncluttered with a loping gait, positive and focused, it's a uplifting send off and has me thinking more electronic musicians should jam together
Sublime techno from multi-disciplinary artist Neil Ollivierra
, famous as label manager for Transmat
and for his unpublished book Reality Slap
, sketches the Motor City
skyline with the simplest strokes.
operating under his Wassermann moniker. This smooth grind house sounds like the inside of an engine, full of warm reverb and mechanical purpose
, slipping in and out of reverse gears, and if there wasn't the ghost-in-the-machine
vocal you could convince yourself you're drifting into sleep on the back seat of a car.
Who did this vocal..? I love it.
Treacle electro from ACEN
(recording as spacepimp), such an odd track for him, full of squelchy distortion, it sounds as if the lacquers were accidentally dropped it in the bath or left it to melt in the sun before it was pressed - deep slo-mo acid with a lumbering bassline, and if it weren't for the perky synth trying to trip em up you'd think it was on the wrong speed
Computer game music. Rob Hubbard
teased the technology beyond it's limits, although how and when something was made isn't a good enough reason to love it. The thrill of hearing it today is that the parts don't sound remotely like the instruments they're intended to: the lo-res violins become jagged sugar zigzags (their mild dissonance so endearing) and the rest rushes past as jittery treble. Unstable, exhilarating and oddly life-affirming - an 8bit classic.
Tim Wright's music has bl0wn more of my speakers than anyone else's. Dotted with tweets and lo-freq growls this scuzzy 2step hasn't tempted me to into the red
yet. A steady bounce with emcees isn't enough but this is sweetened by Toastie's whispery sing-song. Is that the chorus from Grease? Whatever he's on, I want some.
Another unlikely collaboration from LEX
, this matches Organized Konfusion
's Prince Po with Richard X
. Recorded inside a pinball machine, it's fidgety electro and 8bit squiggles don't faze the emcees, both dead set on chasing down Rich's runaway melody.
Gospel Glitch. A slickly layered swamp of skittery percussion and glistening funk, it squawks, twangs and clicks like a badly scratched world music cd. Releasing this rhythmic knot are the bluesy vocals and elastic chorus, loosening the tension and complexity, they just seem to breath it out, and combined it takes on a sturdy groove. The samples, the syncopation and the rest, it all amounts to an impressive debut.
A excerpt from the mix I've listened to far too much, Diplo and Low Budget are the DJs behind this block party squeeze: 80s hip-pop bumping alongside dirty south, rock, electro and freestyle classics.
Italo. Been waiting months to post this [ many thanks to Rephlex
for permission ] but there was no hurry: it's timeless and the re-release has yet to hit the shops. Recorded without computers somewhere in the Paris suburbs back in 78, it's murky goth disco sounds unlike anything else - unsettling with a poignancy that sets it apart from the rest of disco, a muted vocal drifting over a melancholic moroder
pulse, it's not what you expect on the dancefloor. Could it be that the best music is already out there waiting to be re-discovered?
Just a remind-ah. Pop music's great, but it wouldn't have half the appeal in a world without Mark.E.Smith-ah.
Is this the original? listening to non-english versions have a strange thrill, like not recognising somewhere you know you grew up; familiar, only different. This feels like an eerie glitch, hearing it reminds me of seeing one of claes oldenburg
's outsized objects.
Restless RnB. Mya trills and Chingy chews over this three pronged rhythmic attack. Densely layered, it twists and pivots like an impatient dj splicing accapellas together over the best breaks in their box - a tangle of thundering kick drums, brass, flamenco, with echoed sonar tweaks and another shattering handclap break. Stunning, even after the 10th play. [ Jess
on point ]
Compare and Contrast. Would this DSP fluff be any good if the original wasn't such an important part of my childhood. It has that heard-through-the-wall effect that makes me play the original in my head whenever it's on, for that reason alone it ought to be heard.
No apology for this. I was going to qualify the post with a heavy-weight quote or a choice haiku
, but there's no need. Memorably superficial, it's pesky and insistent like spam, a celebration of shallowness
. Life in Plastic... it's fantastic
- couldn't have put it better myself.
Spooked Pop, One time member of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, Yukihiro's solo material isn't as well known as Sakamoto's, a shame. Not exactly J-pop
, just as bright and fun but more real, his voice has an awkwardness I find it hard not to love
Synthpop. Yes, we've all heard this before, but perhaps not recently. Over-write the memory you have, it's so much more than the chorus.
Field Recording. Just had a quick debate with [jk] about this track - he said "b-b-but it just sounds like someone going through the dial on a radio, like 10 years ago."
I said, "yes, great isn't it."
A fascinating document, a cross-section of London underground in the 90s.
Delirious Hip-Hop. The man with the sleaziest moniker in rap (Making-Easy-Money-Pimpin-Hoes-In-Style) hitches a lift on the another high-speed Just Blaze production. Freeway's done this before but sounds suitably on-the-edge, Bleek does more than hang on and there's some serious string action but this is all background to the groove.
Dub heartbreak, another stand out track from the dub legend's most recent album
. Beginning as a gauzy drift, seeking out the surface, inching it's way into the light as if something will be revealed. But just as it reaches the muted climax it comes to it's senses and fades away. Gorgeously understated.
/ Neptunes, watch yer back... DM's just getting warmed up,
Hailing from Newport
, the jewel of Wales' industrial heartland, these studio scallies
have penned paean to Soap Bar - the very worst form of resin. It's an honest voice, appealingly unsophisticated, and consequently catches a vivid snapshot of life a hundred miles from London. [note: everyone at gabba spent a fair amount of their 20s living in Newport while studying, this music has a personal resonance, You knows it
Jorg Burger, recording as the Modernist, manages to mix a pouncing disco melody with strafing techno. The results is simple - you can't sit down to appreciate this song.
First release on Vulture for four years, and this particular track's long overdue. Measured yet thrilling, it builds and churns before the scorched Miami Vice guitars take over, and this is just a taste of the full version.
Kanye West. There was a time last year when this was battlin it out with 'Thru the Wire' at the top of my playlist, it doesn't have quite the same narrative hook, blessed instead with a stealthy bass, whistle chorus and Jay-Z standing 8ft tall.
Slippery funk from Holland - somedays he's Prince, somedays he's Tom Waits, and today he's Gil Scott Heron. One of the gems on his debut album, Jibberish, a 40 track sketchbook of textured electronics and clanky blues.
Shadowy House. Philip
mentioned this last year and it's been on repeat ever since. Dark and indistinct, like a underexposed snapshot, this could have been the soundtrack for Zabriskie Point
Burbling anaglogue stream, pure retro sci-fi, the sound of young electronics, recalling electro-acoustic epics of the 70s: Manuel Gottsching's E2 E4
or Tubular Bells
, without the unwelcome Ibiza/Exorcist associations.
This suburban folk hybrid, part hip-hop, part chamber pop, marks the return of the anticon
Mawkish House. Jacques Le Con revives the woozy 80s synths and acid twang. Shallow and effective, with it's heart-beat predictability you anticipate everything, there's not a moment that you can't feel before it arrives. [gareth
should take some credit]
Widescreen Electro from Holland, it's been around since the early part of the year but only found a full release in december. Slowly opening on an alien vista - imagine the establishing shots of a sci-fi epic - measured and restrained, our patience is rewarded when it soars into space.
Complete revision of the original version, Kelis' lusty sing-song underscored by flexi-steel percussion and harpsichord, while Clipse's contribution's just another reason to find their new album
All the way from 88, deep twerking acid with speak-n-spell
and falsettos from the unsung hero of Frankie Goes To Hollywood (the butch moustachioed one).
Sean Paul featuring a riddim, and Sean Paul.
Chirpy Grime. Roll Deep's J2K steps up and presents himself. He's c0cky, he's honest, but it's the squeaky shadow and bounce that make it worth the rewind.
Heard this in a mix and wondered if anyone can recognise the track - deadly simple join-the-dots house, featuring an Ibiza emcee's duet with a taunting vocoder. Very irritating, Very catchy.
Classic 90s Ardcore. So vivid and alive, a sweet and sour of dark rave and pop focused breaks, instantly recognisable as the one with the sample that sounds like Nicholas Parsons
. How can something still be delicate when everything's turned up to 11
Parisian heroes I:Cube
and Dj Gilb'r
return with a stream of mobius-strip melodies and glancing gamelan that recalls the great 'Beau Mot Plage'
. Purposeless but beautiful, like spending a few minutes playing with a dot of mercury.
Off-beat Hip-Hop. Like this track, the Ultramagnetics burnt all too briefly. Huge wheeling samples, those digi-sharp chops and Keith blazing; this brings it all back.
Bright new star - M.I.A.
's already turned up here and there, but that cool delivery really makes it's mark on this wonky Fat Truckers
production, their broken dancehall fizzes and bleeps like it warped on the journey from Jamaica, perfect for her feisty snarl. Watch this one. [thx rich