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troisk meets jan jelinek / ~scape

How many killer incarnations can this man generate??? As Farben, Jelinek produced pinprick, micro-funky minimal house. As Gramm, Jelinek eased the seat back with the ultra jazz ambience. I could go on. Triosk meets Jan Jelinek beautifully fleshes out and solidifies what I've previously described as "liquefied jazz". It's as if the murky and melted sound of the "Live in Tokyo 9/01" has hardened and crystallized like so many mid-December snowflakes, and in almost as many varieties.

Here Jelinek sharpens the quality of his sounds by capturing the sound of jazz trio, Triosk (L.Pike, A.Klumes and Ben "Donny" Waples) in all their live acoustic glory. Each instrument must have been painstakingly mic'ed because the crystal clear sharpness of the instruments is gorgeous, ESPECIALLY the drum sounds. Where other producers like to take live jazz samples and "throw them in a blender," Jelinek lines them up and arranges them in modern, modal, melodic deconstructions. The tracks ride that beautiful line between modern electronic music and modern live jazz. Although loops are used throughout, there is a definite "live" tension retained throughout the album. Maybe if Four Tet and the Necks collaborated the results would be somewhat like "1+3+1," but I have to admit, probably not with results as good as this one.

On "Theme from Trioskinek", piano loops are sliced and diced with high definition hi-hat rolls and a beautifully plodding double bass loop. Over and over, lush digital hums, clicks and bleeps lift the live-sounding endless drum loops, thick buzzing double basslines and piano melodies. Again, it's easy to imagine these tracks being played live with Jelinek joining the Trio stage-side, laptop in front of him, yet the simple elegance of the arrangements proves that these tracks aren't live productions.

More than one person has commented that this was the album that Herbert's "Goodbye Swingtime" should have been more like; I have to agree. Superb album. Recommended.
listen: jan jelinek/onthelak
listen: jan jelinek/vibespul


b.fleischmann / welcome tourist / morr

The man that started the Morr Music phenomenon returns to the label to present us with his new double album. "Welcome Tourist" is a slight departure from B. Fleischmann's previous works; gone are the simple groovebox beats, but they are now replaced by lush instrumentation alongside his own brand of bedroom electronics. A track like "Guided By Beats" starts off with gently plucked guitar, followed by heavy Def Jux style hip hop beats, then halfway through tremelo-ed synth washes float by. "Pass By" begins with a delicately tapped piano melody, followed by a live bass rhythm until the heavy downtempo beats kick in and cut-up female vocals are dispersed throughout; then at the two-minute mark, beautiful washes of guitar distortion permeate the song -- it is absolutely stunning. On "Grunt," he probably comes up with his most catchy melody yet; all the while Fennesz-style electronic static floats in and out of the song as if to not make it sound too pretty. "Welcome Tourist" contains 11 amazing tracks on the first disc alone while disc two is one 45-minute track that spans the whole spectrum of what Mr. Fleischmann is trying to accomplish. The second disc utilizes acoustic guitars, live drums, piano, strings, cut up vocals, ambient electronics, crunchy beats... you name it, it's in there. "Welcome Tourist" is B. Fleischmann's masterpiece and definitely one of Morr Music's finest hours. What more can I say, but that the man has done it again! Highly recommended.
listen: b.fleischmann/pass-by
listen: b.fleischmann/grunt

deadbeat vs. stephen beaupre / it's a crackhaus thing / onitor

Are you fan of Akufen, Herbert, or the Soft Pink Truth? Do you buy records just because they are on Perlon, Playhouse, or Kompakt? If you have answered yes to any of the above then this is for you! Deadbeat and Stephen Beaupre have created a fabulous, funked-up tech house album with "It's a Crackhaus Thing." Like the previously mentioned artists, this duo incorporates the popular chopped-up style of beats and vocals to their own brand of house and it comes out nothing short of funky. With a track like "Shine Your Light" with its pumping house rhythm, cut-up blues horns and soul vocals you would swear that it was off of Akufen's "My Way". "Little Cosmonaut" starts off all distorted and dirty, with shifting rhythms and a cut up sample of what sounds like a woman's laugh put through about 50 processors. Then right before the two-minute mark, everything drops out just to reveal the lone 4/4 beat which lasts for about 30-seconds until the rhythm, chopped backwards and forwards, comes charging back in while completely new vocal comes in and the melody completely changes. Nothing short of amazing, this record is one for the headphones and the dancefloor. I have to say that the Onitor label is on a roll with last week's amazing Gustavo Lamas CD and now this... There is no stopping these guys. Recommended.
listen: deadbeat vs. stephen beaupre/shineyou
listen: deadbeat vs. stephen beaupre/littleco

plaid / spokes / warp

While Plaid's new LP is a definite change for Warp's number-one party-rockers, in many ways it is not so much a new direction as an old one. As the world of electronica continues to tread water, unsure if it should sink or swim, one of the latest tricks is a look back to the "classic" years, and longtime fans of the group will recognize some of these sounds as reminiscent of the (pre-Plaid) Black Dog days. There is less of a hip-hop/big beat groove here, and a strong classic techno/acid influence (similar to Luke Vibert's new one, although not as overt, or as sunny). The sounds are dark and unsettling, the beats are skittering and slippery. Tracks build slowly, often starting as dark ambient washes and adding sounds in careful layers. This is still dance music, but maybe not for those who need huge backbeat to hit the floor, and it is still the Plaid you know and love, but not in their time-tested easy-to digest formula.
listen: plaid/crumaxi
listen: plaid/cedarcit

baby ford / basking in the brakelights / force inc.

I'll save you from all of the "anticipated album" talk. All we need to know is that Baby Ford's last collection of tracks, "Sacred Machines," with the I-Fach collective was deep and sick. That, and the fact that there aren't many dudes who made acid house hits for major labels in the late-'80s that still produce up-to-date tracks of note -- tracks for Sender, Perlon, Klang and now Force Inc. -- all varied in style and focus, while every one of them is unmistakably Baby Ford. Peter Ford makes tracks that have all the edge of the high-falutin', so-called "experimental/microhouse" producers of late. They share affection for minimal funk, small sounds, deepness, etc.; the difference is Baby Ford isn't putting on any airs of sophistication. These tracks aren't dry, fresh out of the dormitory, dancing is funny/ain't-I-white bullshit. Besides all the well arranged micro-CLASSIC STYLE house beat arrangements are bouncing acid funk basslines that are wet, juicy and full of ASS. Think Losoul from London without any rave casualty symptoms. (More techno, less house right?) Another key element to the beauty of these tracks is their complete refusal to beg for your attention. With Baby Ford, if you don't place yourself INSIDE the track you will miss it. What may at first seem just long, repetitive and "funky" is actually expertly arranged bits of classic house over layers of subterranean tones, post-4 a.m. soul and, I say it again, ASS. I want my own copy!
listen: baby ford/exopolis
listen: baby ford/parallel

kid 606 / kill sound before sound kills you / ipecac

Kid 606's follow-up to last year's "Action Packed Mentalist" shows the mash-up master just won't let up; "Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You," pummels through acid, technopunk, gabber, jungle, bass and dancehall at a brutal, sweaty pace. Opening track "The Ilness" has a mid-'90s hardcore feel but totally sliced, diced and tweaked out through the Kid's laptop, it lands right in the 21st century. The frenetic BPMs of "Who Wah Kill Sound?", "Powerbookfiend" and the digi-core dancehall of "Buckle Up" will spin you dizzy and leave you in a gritty daze. "Kill Sound" isn't all sonic assault though; Kid 606 sprinkles a few ambient interludes so you can catch your breath, and following the hyper-skitter of the bass-heavy "Woofer Wrecker," he peacefully leaves us floating in space wrapped in a fluffy montage of sounds.
listen: kid 606/theillne
listen: kid 606/buckleup