Little White Earbuds August Charts 2011

Chart courtesy of The Economist

01. Massimiliano Pagliara, “A Wrong Chance” (Tuff City Kids Remix) [Live At Robert Johnson] (buy)
Stylistically diverse and capably executed, Massimiliano Pagliara’s debut full-length, Focus For Infinity, could rank among the year’s best dance music albums. Yet for reasons I can’t quite understand, it somehow managed to be overlooked by most critics and listeners. If there’s any justice, the Live At Robert Johnson-released remix EPs will rekindle interest in the excellent originals. Perhaps the strongest argument for this is the Tuff City Kids remix of “A Wrong Chance.” The duo of Running Back impresario Gerd Janson and Arto Mwambe’s Phillip Lauer re-sculpt the tune into something tougher but equally sophisticated. Fans of Lauer’s recent work will recognize some of his signature synth sounds which provide an airy sweetness to compliment the meaty bass line which leads things off. Like the original, the remix straddles the past as it looks into the present, offering nostalgic drum programming and acid flourishes which sound fresh despite themselves. Tuff City Kids is primarily a remix outlet for Janson and Lauer, but with remixes this good one hopes they find time for some originals, too.

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02. Recast, “Consensual”
[Third Ear Recordings] (buy)

Unlike actors who get typecast for playing one role for too long, electronic music producers have the luxury of putting on new masks when ready to leave behind their best known material. Such has been the case for Konstantinos Soublis, the producer best know for his records on Chain Reaction and Echocord as Fluxion. In 2011 he’s resurfaced as Recast with a new single for the always adventurous Third Ear Recordings. Whereas his dub techno material utilized a rather narrow tonal palette, “Consensual” is rife with wafting melodies primed for intense daydreaming. Its teasing intro barely prepares listeners for the full-on bear hug of melody and thick, wandering bass that greets them and further intensifies. While clearly not the focus of the piece, the percussion in “Consensual” is obviously labored over as well, from rolling kicks, tense string plucks, a light dusting of shakers and cascading hi-hats that change up as if driving through different weather patterns. Immense and ambitious, it will be interesting to see how far Soublis takes Recast after “Consensual” before finding a new mask to wear.

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03. Archie Pelago, “Rude Panecea”
[Slime Recordings] (buy)

Drawing upon jazz for samples and inspiration is still a relatively new thing for bass music types, so the prospect of a nominal jazz trio making bass music is honestly difficult to wrap one’s head around. In fact, it sounds like the kind of thing that really shouldn’t work. The Brooklyn-based trio Archie Pelago, however, is proving such preconceptions to be misjudged. Case in point, “Rude Panacea” from their Chocolate Waveplates EP for Slime Recordings: a rambunctious, synth-rooted romp through organic instrumentation that could score a Road Runner cartoon as easily as bring down the house during one of their live performances. Sax, trumpet and cello spar with the razor-backed synth lines that skitter and roar across nimble arrangements that feel delicately composed but powerful enough to inspire sincere head rocking. It’s immensely satisfying for something that could go so horribly wrong to end up so right. I can hardly wait to find out what other preconceived notions of mine they end up shattering.

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04. Benjamin Brunn, “I Took Her Out For a 707” [Ashes] (buy)
“I Took Her Out For A 707,” the lead track from Benjamin Brunn’s Dust EP for the newly launched Ashes imprint, can be described simply as minimalist. Note that it’s not minimal (whether or not you take that word pejoratively), but it relies on a only a few elements to make its immaculate point. Brunn wrings out a great of substance from its iridescent synth line by toying with the attack and sustain, leaving the melody largely unchanged even as it strikes different poses. The trotting 707 and a diffused clap generally hold their shape as well, only occasionally shifting their patterns to match the changes in synth intensity. But it’s the bass line, shimmying down the scale, that completes the track, taking it beyond the “session experiment” sound a piece this compact might suffer from otherwise. “I Took Her Out For A 707” is no opus, but it’s an example of just how much Brunn can accomplish with a limited toolkit.

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05. El Kid, “112” [Immerse Records] (buy)
Not only has the slow down in bass music tempos been useful for DJs looking to integrate it into their house/techno sets, it’s a boon to the overall genre itself. Rather than turn into the kind of musical arms race that helped make jungle/drum n’ bass practically irrelevant, this has allowed DJs to find new, interesting patterns with all the space afforded by tempos that jog rather than sprint. Immerse Records has done a good job of finding talent who dabble in the slower end of things, and their latest signing, El Kid, is among the most promising. With “112,” the Brighton-based producer has created something that feels compatible with but unrecognizable as house. The tune mines much of the same tonal territory as his compatriot BNJMN, although the broken beat patterns below the glossy melodies provide a distinctly different flavor. The same can be said the off-hand percussion elements littered throughout, affording texture to otherwise clean sounds. With a debut this distinctive and versatile, El Kid seems like a producer worth monitoring closely.

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06. Nebraska, “The Cruives”
[Rush Hour Recordings] (buy)

07. Martyn, “Masks” [Brainfeeder] (buy)
08. Cavalier, “Uzunyayla (Hallucinatory Narcosis)”
[Drumpoet Community] (buy)

09. Lukid, “My Teeth In Your Neck” [GLUM] (buy)
10. Perseus Traxx, “Misspent Emotions”
[Boe Recordings] (buy)

Staff Charts:

Per Bojsen-Moller
01. Andres, “Be Free Baby” [Mahogani Music]
02. Erdbeerschnitzel, “Always Remain” [3rd Strike]
03. Aybee, “Nigg#s And Space Machines” [Deepblak]
04. Gunnar Jonsson, “Tempelhof Zoo” [Just Another Beat]
05. Hieroglyphic Being, “Night Thoughts (2AM Remix)” [Sequencias]
06. Lone, “All Those Weird Things” [Wigflex]
07. Cosmin TRG, “Want You To Be” [50 Weapons]
08. Axel Boman, “Europa” [Studio Barnhaus]
09. Deep88 & The Huge, “Italo82 (Disco Remix)” [12 Records]
10. Fudge Fingas, “What Works” [Firecracker Recordings]

Luke Hawkins
01. Oni Ayhun, “Meets Shangaan Electro” [Honest Jon’s]
02. Omar-S, “Who Wrote The Rules Of Love” (Shadow Ray Remix) [FXHE]
03. Nuel, “Aquaplano 3” [Aquaplano Ltd]
04. Mike Parker, “A2” [Aquaplano Ltd]
05. XDB, “Wentap” [Harbour City]
06. Ital, “Culture Clubs” (Hieroglyphic Being Remix) [Lover’s Rock]
07. Donato Dozzy, “Giusy” [Time To Express]
08. Tin Man, “Love Sick” [Salon]
09. Terre Thaemlitz, “Hobo Train” [Comatonse]
10. QX-1, “Love Injection (Inject Me Love Mixx)” [Rhythm Beat]

Anton Kipfel
01. Oskar Offermann & Moomin, “Nasty Nate” [Aim]
02. Cavalier, “Napoletano” [Drumpoet Community]
03. Nebraska, “The Mountains” [Rush Hour Recordings]
04. Dexter, “Bo-Dyned” [Clone Basement Series]
05. Peach Melba, “Can’t Let Go” [DFA]
06. Martyn, “Masks” [Brainfeeder]
07. Alex Israel, “GAZ 13” [W.T. Records]
08. Simon Baker, “Grey Area” (Album Edit) [20:20 Vision]
09. Audiofly ft. Fiora, “6 Degrees” [Get Physical Music]
10. Ron Basejam, “One Point” [Redux]

Kuri Kondrak
01. John Heckle, “Nothing Can Last Forever” [Mathematics]
02. o1o, “Beat Datazz” [Further]
03. Pépé Bradock, “Path Of Most Resistance” [Atavisme]
04. Juju & Jordash, “Chelm Is Dubbing” [Golf Channel Recordings]
05. Aroy Dee, “Shuffle” [Sequencias]
06. Marcos Cabral, “Freckles” [L.I.E.S.]
07. Kuba Sojka, “Voyager 1” [Mathematics]
08. RVDS, “A Walk On The Moon” [It’s]
09. Fudge Fingas, “What Works (Vakula Remix)” [Firecracker]
10. Anthony “Shake” Shakir, “Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir Meets BBC”
[Honest Jon’s]

Chris Miller
01. Ital, “Only For Tonight” (Dubout Saviour’s Love Megamix) [100% Silk]
02. Juju & Jordash, “Chelm Is Burning” [Golf Channel Recordings]
03. Scuba, “Adrenalin” [Hotflush Recordings]
04. Sun Ra, “U.F.O.” (Mike Huckaby Reel to Reel Edit) [Kindred Spirits]
05. Omar-S, “Ganymede” [FXHE]
06. BNJMN, “Nightvision” (Andy Stott Remix) [Stolen Kisses]
07. Conforce, “Luminous” [Delsin]
08. Legowelt, “Sark Island Acid” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
09. Cosmin TRG, “Amor y Otros” [50 Weapons]
10. Regis, “Blood Witness” [Blackest Ever Black]

Jordan Rothlein
01. John Osborn, “Epoch4” [TANSTAAFL]
02. Archie Pelago, “ArcJoe” [Slime]
03. Legowelt, “Metro Airport” [Legowelt]
04. Scuba, “Everywhere” [Hotflush Recordings]
05. Marcus Mixx, “Use Your Mouth To Love Me (Teeth Mix)”
[Unknown To The Unknown]
06. Erdbeerschnitzel, “Same Same” [3rd Strike]
07. FaltyDL, “Make It Difficult” [All City]
08. Distal, “French Science” [Label]
09. Terekke, “Damn” [L.I.E.S.]
10. Maria Minerva, “Laulan Paikse Kaes” [Not Not Fun]

Andrew Ryce
01. Balam Acab, “Apart” [Tri Angle]
02. Boddika, “Acid Jackson” [Swamp81]
03. Mosca, “Bax” [Numbers]
04. Clams Casino, “Motivation” [Type]
05. Option Command, “Break Even” [King Deluxe]
06. Kuedo, “Flight Path” [Planet Mu]
07. Bwana, “Baby Let Me Finish” [white]
08. Max Tkacz, “909 Kidz” [Motech]
09. Hackman, “Close” [Greco-Roman]
10. Kevin McPhee, “Sleep” [Idle Hands]

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