Author Archive: Gabriel Stargardter

Terror Danjah, Acid

Terror Danjah and Hyperdub seem like a neat fit. One of grime’s finest and most innovative beatmakers was given a fitting retrospective on Planet Mu in 2009, and here he delivers his debut on Kode 9’s equally innovative label. For those that listened to Gremlinz (The Instrumentals 2003-2009) or any of Danjah’s After Shock productions, you’ll know what to expect. Mr Danjah crafts gold out of the detritus of electronic music. Rave sirens, the trademarked Gremlin sample, and piano house riffs are recontextualised into a broken carnival of beats that are recognizably his own.

Jellphonic ft. Zacky Force Funk, 100 Snakes

When does east become west? I mean who’s to say Auckland isn’t west, rather than east, of L.A.? Listening to the New Zealand-based Jellphonic aka St. Liquor-ish’s 1000 Snakes EP on the brand new Clone Limited (I know, another Clone sub-label), it soon becomes clear he’s not an artist that bothers with such arbitrary geographical distinctions. This is the wheezy west coast sound taken to its illogical antipodean extreme, a synth(etic) ass wallop of electric boogie-woogie that constantly threatens to collapse under the various anxieties of influence the record operates under.

Alex Smith, Here With Me

Omar-S is dead, long live Alex Smith. OK, Omar-S isn’t dead, but still, long live Alex Smith. The most provocative and precocious of the Detroit new-school is back on his latest outing for FXHE and this time he’s releasing under his God-given name. Oh, and this time he is on fire. Here with Me is a stunning micro-statement of intent, an atomic particle of sonic abundance that twinkles brightly amidst its creator’s finest achievements.

LoSoul, Time Passes EP

As soon as minimal descended from opera to operetta, from the clinical distillation of techno’s essence to its buffoonish, showboating bastard-child, it was inevitable that producers would one day revisit it with a dewy-eyed nostalgia. LoSoul has always worn his influences on his sleeve, and as a producer working throughout the decade of minimal’s far-reaching reign, it seems both fair and correct that he should have something to say about its demise. Leaving behind the cushy environs of Playhouse for an outing on Dan Ghenacia’s Freak n’ Chic, he gets his opportunity and delivers a fitting eulogy.

Mathew Jonson, Ghosts In the AI

If one were to single out an overarching narrative for the trajectory of electronic music in 2009, it would surely be the emphasis on the past — on the founding myths and legends that electronic music emerged out of — as a source of inspiration. With disco breaking out from small-scale revival to established Room Two, even Room One fare, with deep house announcing itself as the heir apparent to the ubiquity of mid-decade minimal, and with the cavernously retrospective, Detroit-flecked techno of the Berghain/Hard Wax crew dominating tracklists, it seems that in 2009, the only way to look forward, was to look back. Accordingly, Mathew Jonson chimed in with his take on the theme for Ghosts In the AI, his last Wagon Repair release of the year and the decade.