Little White Earbuds January Charts 2010

Chart courtesy of The Economist

01. Azari & III, “Reckless (With Your Love)”
[Permanent Vacation] (buy)

With the deluge of year end lists finally petering out I’ve finally had a chance to dig into music released at the end of 2009 that was overlooked. There’s no better place to start than with Azari & III’s irresistible tune, “Reckless (With Your Love),” one of the year’s few house anthems. In keeping with the old school instrumentation and track structure, “Reckless” is no less than a full fledged song with vocalist Starving Yet Full flinging his commanding pipes all over the organ stabs and between synth string sweeps. Not only is there an intriguing personal narrative winding through the vigorous arrangements instead of more trite vocal samples, the tune balances Azari & III’s reverence for house music fundamentals with a fresh feeling that all but assures future classic status. “Reckless (With Your Love),” only Azari & III’s second single single together, is an accomplishment that seems to portend many more such milestones in the coming months.

[zero r=”Reckless (With Your Love)” a=”Azari+III” t=”Reckless (With Your Love)”]

02. Reagenz ft. Fred P., “Keep Building”
[Workshop] (buy)

Another late arrival that’s still worth your time is “Keep Building,” the centerpiece of Reagenz’s sophomore album, Playtime. Featuring Fred P. as an unlikely but affective cheerleader who prods producers, dancers and Reagenz themselves to “keep moving forward,” the 13+ minute track lives up to its title by constructing hazy synth castles in the sky. Reagenz (aka Dave Moufang and Jonah Sharp) allow their slender drum programming to take a back seat to multiple players of minor pads and organ vamps, Fred’s hissing vocals swirling about like smoke curling up from a cigarette. Indeed, “Keep Building” is a slowburner of the highest nature, allowing plenty of time for its progressive message to sink in. Producers young and old, take heed!

[zero r=”Playtime” a=”Reagenz” t=”Keep Building”]

03. Pangaea, “Why” [Hessle Audio] (buy)
It’s fitting that Kevin McAuley waited until now to come out with a self-titled release because Pangaea EP is, without a doubt, his most mature and nuanced set of tunes yet. It starts with the exquisite “Why,” a natural progression from the jazzy palate of his “Mosaix” but one which is far more affecting. His relatively spare framework of organ jabs, drum kit samples broken into ambling patterns and soft but steady bass progressions provides the perfect stage for a powerful performance by an uncredited female vocalist (though her cadence is obviously manipulated, it appears original to this tune rather than the result of crate-digging). Her gorgeous portamento runs are often punctuated by herself demanding, “Why? Why?” Pleading her case to listeners, “I tried to make it clear / I don’t know,” her she adds so much heft to an already compelling slate of bittersweet melodies. Although I’m still curious what she’s denying, the only question left in my head is why the tune has to end at five minutes. Essential gears from Pangaea.

[zero a=”Pangaea” r=”Pangaea” t=”Why”]

04. TJ Kong & Modular K, “Venusberg”
[Four:Twenty Recordings] (buy)

At first glance, TJ Kong’s digital-only Serenade EP for Four:Twenty Recordings is merely decent tech-house from an unfamiliar name. Peel off a few more layers and you’ll find Dutch producer Erwin van Moll, also known as max 404 and Proteus Generation, who has recorded for Djax-Up-Beats, Eevo Lute Muzique, Compost Black Label, and Eskimo Recordings since the early 90’s. Pare away all but “Venusberg,” a collaboration with Modular K, and you’re left with an thoroughly written tune which is redolent of mid-90’s techno yet quite relevant to dance floors today. Where so many producers are ready to stop after adding a few dinky sounds, van Moll and Modular K lavish their track with bleepy leads, an old school bass line, loose tambourine twinkles, and a variety of attention-grabbing synth vamps which keep the tune fresh throughout its nine minutes. Although I’m disappointed this never received a vinyl release, I’m happy hearing veteran producers still cranking out the goods.

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05. Hot Chip, “One Life Stand” (Carl Craig PCP Remix)
[EMI] (buy)

Carl Craig is usually good for at least one killer remix of an indie-oriented group underground dance fans might otherwise shy away from each year. In 2007 he remixed Junior Boys’ “Like A Child” with memorable results, and 2008 saw him push Francesco Tristano’s “The Melody” to near “Strings Of Life” heights. Although he took 2009 off, he’s back and as strong as ever on his Paperclip People-styled remix of Hot Chip’s “One Life Stand.” True to form, Craig distills the tune to raw and reduced fundamentals: snarling synth loops, spiny guitar licks, and percussion which steps into cavernous settings at random intervals. He knows just how to ratchet up the tension, leave room for cool, collected vocals, and then return with a vengeance. This 10 minute floor-filling monster is a great reminder of the piercing prowess of the Paperclip People moniker.

06. Roni Nachum, “Guest Service Shalom”
[Fine Art Recordings] (buy)

07. André Lodemann, “Still Dreaming”
[Freerange Records] (buy)

08. Anthony “Shake” Shakir, “Arise”
[Rush Hour Recordings] (buy)

09. EQD, “Equalized003-B” [Equalized] (buy)
10. Brandt Brauer Frick, “Button” [The Gym] (buy)

Staff Charts:

Per Bojsen-Moller
01. Four Tet, “There Is Love In You” [Domino Recording Company]
02. Nicolas Jaar, “A Time For Us” [Wolf + Lamb]
03. Anton Zap, “Adide” [Millions of Moments]
04. Ation, “Lovers Dub” [Abucs]
05. Joy Orbison, “BRKLN CLLN” [Doldrums]
06. STL, “Myxmassong” [Quintessentials]
07. Aybee, “Underworld” [Underground Quality]
08. Levon Vincent, “Double Jointed Sex Freak” [Novel Sound]
09. Smallpeople, “Before Leaving To Paris” [Laid]
10. Ryo Murakami, “Just For This” [Dessous]

Chris Burkhalter:
01. nsi., “Eitherway” [Non Standard Productions]
02. Protect-U, “Double Rainbow” [Future Times]
03. Alex Smith, “Here With Me” [FXHE]
04. Tensnake, “Coma Cat” [Permanent Vacation]
05. Mark Du Mosch, “Revenger” [Cyber Dance Records]
06. DJ Qu, “Party People Clap” [Deconstruct Music]
07. Area, “Missing A Few” [Wave Music]
08. Scott Grooves, “Afro Riddum” [From the Studio of Scott Grooves]
09. A Made Up Sound, “Drain” [A Made Up Sound]
10. Levon Vincent, “Double Jointed Sex Freak Part 1” [Novel Sound]

Peder Clark:
01. Smallpeople, “Before Leaving To Paris” [Laid]
02. I.F.M., Back In The Days EP [Uzuri]
03. Pawel, Pawel [Dial]
04. Wbeeza, City Shuffle EP [Third Ear Recordings]
05. Bruce Ivery, Things I Want [Stilove4music]
06. Heaven & Earth, Prescription EP [Running Back]
07. M. Pittman, Erase The Pain [Fit]
08. DJ Qu, “Party People Clap” [Deconstruct Music]
09. Anton Zap, Take It As It Comes [Underground Quality]
10. Entro Seenestre, “La Caccia” [WT Records]

Anton Kipfel:
01. Roni Nachum, “Guest Service Shalom” [Fine Art Recordings]
02. Pawel, Pawel [Dial]
03. Gerd, “Freedom” (Gerd Mix) [Royal Oak]
04. EQD, “Equalized003-B” [Equalized]
05. Tensnake, “Coma Cat” [Permanent Vacation]
06. My My ft. Emika, “Price Tag” (Appleblim & Komonazmuk remix)
[Aus Music]
07. DJ Qu, “Party People Clap” [Deconstruct Music]
08. Ed Davenport, “Life In the Balance” [Vidab]
09. Joshua Iz, “Earthrise” [Vizual Records]
10. Enola, Alone [Inital Cuts]

Kuri Kondrak:
01. Carlos Nilmmns & Ian Elgey, “Blo” [Fizzy Duck]
02. Kirk Degiorgio, “A Way Of Life” [ART]
03. Nebraska, “Time Has Come Pt. 1” [Rush Hour]
04. Jared Wilson, “This Love” [777]
05. Russ Gabriel, “Returning Home” [Dieb Audio]
06. Delano Smith, “Road To Nowhere” [Mixmode]
07. Alex Smith, “Three Blind Rats” [FXHE]
08. Jakob Corn, “Mirrorflip” [Dolly]
09. Sensual Beings, “Detached Feelings” [Future Times]
10. Mr. Fingers, “Slam Dance” [Alleviated]

Chris Miller:
01. Levon Vincent, “Double Jointed Sex Freak Part 1” [Novel Sound]
02. Pangaea, “Sunset Yellow” [Hessle Audio]
03. nsi., “Scale” [Non Standard Productions]
04. Delta Funktionen, “Silhouette” [Delsin]
05. Martyn, “Seventy Four” (Redshape Remix) [3024]
06. Alex Smith, “Three Blind Rats” [FXHE]
07. DJ Qu, “Party People Clap” (Anthony Parasole & Fred P Remix) [Deconstruct Music]
08. Ramadanman, “Tempest” [Hemlock]
09. Jeff Mills, “Something In The Sky 01 B1” [Something In The Sky]
10. Martyn, “Friedrichstrasse” [Fabric]

Jordan Rothlein:
01. Lerosa, Dual Nature [Further Records]
02. Anthony “Shake” Shakir, “Arise” [Rush Hour Recordings]
03. Levon Vincent, “Double Jointed Sex Freak Pt. 1” [Novel Sound]
04. DJ Qu, “Party People Clap” [Deconstruct Music]
05. Reade Truth, “Soundwav” [White Label]
06. Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras, “Memory Fails Me” (Oni Ayhun Remix) [Macro]
07. André Lodemann, “Still Dreaming” [Freerange Records]
08. Roni Nachum, “Guest Service Shalom” [Fine Art Recordings]
09. Reggie Dokes, “The Beginnings of Ra” [Royal Oak]
10. Alex Smith, “Here With Me” [FXHE]

Joe H  on February 1, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Azari & III, “Reckless (With Your Love)- What a great track. It reminds me of early to mid 90’s organ house music which is still very relevant in and around West Yorkshire today.

todd  on February 2, 2010 at 12:16 AM

yeah, they’re getting the first release on Trax’s relaunch too.


uberVU - social comments  on February 2, 2010 at 7:46 AM

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