Little White Earbuds January Charts

01. Helium Robots, “Jarza”
[Running Back] (buy)

Like Dissident, the label they first appeared on, Helium Robots seemed to burn bright and fast, falling silent after two tracks in 2008 for Andy Blake’s since completed imprint. Then in late 2011, the UK-based duo of Ewan Willmott and Lydia Jones showed their first flicker of life in nearly four years by remixing Lana Del Rey, of all people. Helium Robots appear at full power on the Jarza EP for Running Back, delivering two timeless originals that come backed by two less than inspiring Theo Parrish remixes. The title track certainly earns the honor by coaxing a memorable and entirely danceable tune from deliberately 80s’ sounding synths and organs. Arms aloft, “Jarza” wiggles between Italo, house and synth pop, undeniably colorful but tasteful as well, earning its space in your memory with songwriting rather than cheese. The EP is complimentary to the work of another recent Running Back signing, Phillip Lauer — a flattering comparison to say the least. While Helium Robots’ SoundCloud indicates they’ll be working with another label on a forthcoming album, one has to admire Gerd Janson as one of dance music’s finest tune trufflehounds for sniffing out this one.

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02. Anstam, “Statical”
[50 Weapons] (buy)

January’s charts are especially hard to select because they represent both this past month and all the music we caught up on since last time we charted. One album I particularly I wish I would have heard during 2011 was Anstam’s Dance Dispels, a confident and thrillingly novel take on bass music and techno. “Statical” is not its biggest track, but it encapsulates Anstam’s approach in a polished, multi-faceted three minutes. Gaseous pads cling to earth being pounded by rotund percussion, as if the landing gear from a spacecraft was unfolding. It’s a terrain coated in sumptuous sub-bass, a field full of delicate piano leads swaying in the breeze. Anstam’s final twist freezes this new world without warning, leaving an unsettling array of piano chords hanging in the air. At times Dance Dispels feels like Anstam lit his own torch from Shackleton’s black flame and begun an entirely different and equally arresting quest. We can only wonder where it will lead him next.

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03. Kornél Kovács, “Down Since ’92”
[Studio Barnhus] (buy)

It feels fitting to choose this track from one of Studio Barnhus’ founders, Kornel Kovacs, just as RA’s “Edit Etiquette” has published. There’s no way around it: “Down Since ’92” is a clever edit of Sam Salter’s “Once My Shit (Always My Shit)” from 1999. Kovács places large chunks of the often forgotten R&B singer’s multi-tracked vocals in melting melodies being stirred by 90s hi-hats and Chicago-styled bass notes. Despite its origins, the tune is redolent of some of the 90s’ best house tracks by the way of MK’s unforgettable remixes. While he had a number of stellar originals as well, Marc Kinchen’s legacy was cemented by his deft rearranging of others’ raw material. Kovács is not quite operating at that caliber, but a track like “Down Since ’92” bears its spirit and is all the more memorable for it.

04. Alex Jones, “Stamp!” (Dan Berkson’s Effortless House Remix) [Hypercolour] (buy)
Dan Berkson’s creative spirit seems renewed since he returned to releasing music in 2011 after a couple quiet years. Last year’s Anything For You for Crosstown Rebels immediately put him back on the map with its deep and muscular house sound, his Chicago heritage bleeding through into the drum programming and bass line. His last 2011 appearance was remixing Alex Jones’ “Stamp!” on Hypercolour, the imprint founded by Jones. Perhaps sarcastically entitled Dan Berkson’s “Effortless House Remix,” the track is undoubtedly the result of a serious time investment. It’s led by an animated bass line chased by sultry organ riffs and smooth pads, all in the clutches of tightly programmed drum patterns. If anything about it is effortless, it’s the way the remix unfolds its many petals while feeling anything but weighed down. Hopefully this burst of creativity carries Berkson through 2012.

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05. Jubilee, “Les Clochards”
[Hidden Recordings] (buy)

Does a house track really need more than one memorable melody to work? This is the question posed by Jubilee’s “Les Clochards.” For his second release on New York’s Hidden Recordings, the Moroccan producer chose a particularly appealing if not all that complicated progression to wend its way through his marching, disco house percussion. There’s an undeniable easiness to the way its sensuous tones rise and falls, which gives its bare repetition over more dynamic drum arrangements just enough flavor to carry it off. The deep-in-the-tropics sounds which poke up their heads, as well as the extensive nine minute run-time are perhaps a bit much, yet the tracky structure affords “Les Clochards” the utility to work these elements into its surroundings. It appears Hidden Recordings is heading in the opposite direction of tracks like this and “Wolkenreise” in 2012, but its last transmission from 2011 affirms this sound is still within.

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06. Wincent Kunth, “Relove (Edit)”
[Marcel Dettmann Records] (buy)

07. Pittsburgh Track Authority, “Untitled”
[Pittsburgh Tracks] (buy)

08. Ethyl & Flori, “Shelter”
[Secretsundaze] (buy)

09. Robag Wruhme, “Donnerkuppel”
[Kompakt] (buy)

10. B.D.I., “Decoded Messages of Life & Love”
[Rush Hour Recordings] (buy)

Staff Charts

Per Bojsen-Moller
01. Actress, “Actress Meets Shangaan A” [Honest Jon’s Records]
02. Orpheus, “Waiting For Your Call” [Sequencias]
03. The Citizen’s Band, “77 Reasons” [Live At Robert Johnson]
04. Floating Points, “Myrtle Avenue” [Eglo Records]
05. Xosar, “Rainy Day Juno Jam” (Legowelt Remix) [Rush Hour Recordings]
06. Todd Terje, “Inspector Norse” [Smalltown Supersound]
07. Minilogue, “Let Life Dance Through You” [Traum Schallplatten]
08. Yør, “Rave” [Purple Maze]
09. Patrice Scott, “3AM” [Sistrum Recordings]
10. Taron Trekka, “Warubian Ghost” [Freude Am Tanzen]

Chris Burkhalter
01. Efdemin, “Nighttrain” Fred P Reshape [Dial]
02. Mike Huckaby, “Baseline 87′” [Sushitech]
03. Falke, “Flying” [Kann Records]
04. Coki, “Celestial Dub” [DMZ]
05. DVS1, “Submerge” [HUSH]
06. Junior Boys, “You’ll Improve Me” (Dem 2 Remix) [Domino]
07. Maria Minerva, “Gloria” [100% Silk]
08. Chicago Skyway, “London Streets” [Uzuri]
09. Xosar, “Rainy Day Juno Jam” [Rush Hour Recordings]
10. Yør, “Rave” [Purple Maze]

Nick Connellan
01. Oskar Offermann, “Drive Me Home Please” [White]
02. Rivet, “Sleepwalker” [Kontra-Musik]
03. Vince Watson, “Sequential” [Bio Music]
04. Shed, “The Praetorian” [50 Weapons]
05. Rivet, “Metrist” (Marcel Fengler Redefinition) [Kontra-Musik]
06. Floating Points, “ARP3” [Eglo Records]
07. Conforce, “When It Appeared” [Ann Aimee]
08. Todd Terje, “Myggsommer” [Smalltown Supersound]
09. Claro Intelecto, “Second Blood” [Delsin]
10. Cuthead, “Heartless” [Uncanny Valley]

Steve Kerr
01. Voices From The Lake, “S.T.” (VFTL Rework) [Prologue]
02. Claro Intelecto, “Heart” [Delsin]
03. Mark Van Hoen, “Holy Me” [Editions Mego]
04. Madteo, “Bugler Gold Pt. 1” [Hinge Finger]
05. Vazz, “Cast Reflections” [Forced Nostalgia]
06. Inc., “Heart Crimes” [4AD]
07. Unknown artist, “Frankfurt Session 1” [Sex Tags Mania]
08. Kplr, “” [Crazy Iris]
09. Julia Holter, “Boy In The Moon” [Rvng Intl.]
10. Todd Terje, “Inspector Norse” [Smalltown Supersound]

Kuri Kondrak
01. Equation, “I’ll Say A Prayer 4 U” [Rush Hour Recordings]
02. Rüf Dug, “See” [Rüf Kutz]
03. Juju & Jordash, “African Flower” (Cosmic Dub) [Dekmantel]
04. I:Cube, “Hnt” [Les Edits Du Golem]
05. Raiders Of The Lost Arp, “On And On” [Petite]
06. The Oliverwho Factory, “Together” (Altered States Mix) [Bosconi Records]
07. Ka§par, “Able To Find” (CARLOS NILMMNS Glasgow Tangent Mix) [Groovement]
08. Xosar, “Rainy Day Juno Jam” (Legowelt Remix) [Rush Hour Recordings]
09. Steve Summers, “Beyond The Night” [Construction Paper]
10. Pittsburgh Track Authority, “Untitled” [Pittsburgh Tracks]

Chris Miller
01. Demdike Stare, “Kommunion” [Modern Love]
02. Nuel, “Mentalism” [Further Records]
03. Silent Servant, “Mad Youth” [Sandwell Disctrict]
04. Scuba, “Ignition Key” [Hotflush Recordings]
05. Floating Points, “Myrtle Avenue” [Eglo]
06. Pinch, “Retribution” [Swamp81]
07. Claro Intelecto, “Second Blood” [Delsin]
08. A Made Up Sound, “Take The Plunge” [A Made Up Sound]
09. DVS1, “Evolve” [Hush]
10. Objekt, “Cactus” [Hessle Audio]

untz  on February 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM

#5 is a hugely whack pick. Odd for you guys to pick such a poor one. Boring mnml bongo house from rich kids in New York, weeeeeeee.

littlewhiteearbuds  on February 3, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Acting like you have a grudge/bias against a producer and his label (and pointing out their supposed “rich”ness) is great way to ensure your commentary is taken seriously.

RONAN NOANE K  on February 3, 2012 at 3:43 PM

once again, nice selection(s)

kuri  on February 16, 2012 at 6:14 PM

“tune trufflehounds,” nice one.

really digging that Dan Berkson remix of Alex Jones. Pity it never came out on vinyl.

Rod  on March 15, 2012 at 6:04 PM

05. Jubilee, “Les Clochards” very nice. This will be my opener tomorrow night. thanks for this!


STUDIO BARNHUS  on February 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

[…] ‎”Down Since ’92″ by Kornél Kovács makes third place in Little White Earbuds’ January charts! […]

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