Little White Earbuds March Charts 2013

Chart courtesy of The Economist

This month we’re breaking from tradition and inviting five of LWE’s reviewing staff to offer their thoughts on a top track from March. My top five is below.

Omar-S, “Thank U 4 Letting Me Be Myself”
[FXHE Records] (buy)

This is the first mention of the new Omar-S album on the site, though we reckon it won’t be the last. Gritty surrealism as only he does best, it’s a sprint further down his own alley while others strive to play catch up. In fact, it may be the most definitive work of his career. Nestled at its veritable climax is the almost title track, “Thank U 4 Letting Me Be Myself,” issuing enough dainty solitude to provide for a moment lost on the dance floor, yet enough offhanded rollicking momentum to ensure no one notices. All included parts feel deliberate while nothing feels forced — messy and restrained. A standout track generally conveys a moment of shine amongst average. But this track’s presence feels more like a crowning jewel amongst the reclamation of kingship that is Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself. Long Live Omar-S. (Michael C. Walsh)

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Elgato, “We Dream Electric” [Elgato] (buy)
Some artists don’t need to release very much to stand out. Hessle Audio seems to court these types of artists, and Elgato is perhaps their foremost example. So far his grand total of five tracks have come exclusively via Hessle, each more addictive and essential than the last. 2013 sees him strike out on his own for the first time with the one-two punch of Dunkel Jam/We Dream Electric. The fast-paced tumult of “Dunkel Jam” is perhaps the more interesting cut, but “We Dream Electric” hits the brain’s pleasure centers better than just about anything out there. Grounded firmly in deep, deep subby kicks, the rest of the track is airy and light from the simple hi-hats, repetitive vocal sample, and bubbling ambiance. It’s like last year’s minor masterpiece “Zone” found the kick drum and just kept on rolling, distilling house to its very essence like a fine grappa. Given Elgato’s output rate this is likely our only glass until 2014, but when they come with as much kick and go down as smooth as “We Dream Electric” it’s hard to be bothered about much of anything. (Chris Miller)

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K Hand, “Out Yo Mind” [Third Ear Recordings] (buy)
Kelli Hand is a true veteran of the Detroit house and techno community, but you can’t help but feel that she’s been somewhat overlooked in her career. While much fuss has been made over her peers and their contributions to Detroit house and techno, Kelli Hand’s name seems too far removed considering her own input. Releasing since the early 90s, she has released seven albums, around 50 singles, almost as many remixes, and has her own label, Acacia Records. Her releases range from dark, brutal techno to sexed-up disco, vocal house, and electro. Though her discography does show a couple of years between releases in certain points, Hand has never really stopped making music. Her latest EP is Funky Tonight which marks a return to Third Ear Recordings where her music previously resided in 2004 with the superb Moody Life EP. “Out Yo Mind” ties together huge, Twilo-sized tribal drums, a few well-placed vocal samples, and a classic 90s-house chord-and-sax-stab combo. With these few elements Hand sets about doing what she does best, crafting a deep, hypnotic track with a ton of funk. (Per Bojsen-Moller)

K Hand, “Out Yo Mind”

Syclops, “Jump Bugs” [Running Back] (buy)
There’s probably been enough ink spilled about Maurice Fulton’s drum programming, which is so nimble he actually passed his Syclops alias off as a Finnish jazz band for awhile (actually, there still hasn’t been an official answer on that, has there?). Although his music’s freeform spontaneity can make for an intense listen, Fulton is undeniably one of the masters of our age, and A Blink of an Eye, his latest album as Syclops, is full of his signature knotty alien funk. Still, in some way he seems to have toned down its abrasiveness; or maybe this writer’s ears have managed to catch up to him. Standout track “Jump Bugs” is dominated by a zapping, insectoid bass line and a shuffling rhythm of raw snares and loose hand-drums, which admittedly sounds like something Fulton could do in his sleep. The piece truly blossoms when the artist lets an unheimlich pad creep in, in turn locking the bass line into a skronky interplay with chirpy guitar, sashaying hi-hats, and a tweaked clav. Using a keen sense of balance, Fulton renders an immersive environment from these few elements. The result is the sort of hyper-real funk simulation you’d hear at a disco inside an O’Neill cylinder. (Steve Kerr)

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DJ Rashad, “Let It Go” [Hyperdub] (buy)
Hyperdub has an uncanny talent for scooping up artists about to do their most mature work, and signing Chicago’s DJ Rashad on the strength of last year’s TEKLIFE Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi was no exception. His debut full-length album colonized techno, Twitter, and Tronco Traxx in the name of footwork without straying from the genre’s thrilling, convulsive wrongness—meaning any misgivings about footwork losing its freaky appeal in search of a broader audience had already been addressed by the time the Rollin (double meaning fully intended, naturally) EP dropped. “Let It Go” stands out at first for delivering another tentative brush with jungle in its opening moments (see also: m b v‘s “Wonder 2,” Andy Stott’s live set, and Deadboy’s “Nova”). It doesn’t take long for hi-hats with the ratchet power of a robotized assembly line and shuddering, chopped strings to come into play, but there’s something calmer, more spacious about how these familiar production techniques are deployed. The shock of the new, however, is delivered in the wrapper of plain emotion: it’s surprising how affecting the titular croon-bark sample is. Tempos subdivide themselves like water droplets on a hot skillet. Less familiar in this setting is the way Rashad drips soul over the top. (Brandon Bussolini)

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Steve Mizek’s top 5 from March

01. Isolée, “You Could Do Your Memories”
[Pampa Records] (buy)

02. Pépé Bradock, “Lifting Weights”
[Absurd Recordings / Acid Test] (buy)

03. Atom™, “Pop HD” [Raster-Noton] (buy)
04. Fort Romeau, “SW9” [Spectral Sound] (buy)
05. Chasing Voices, “Awoken By Tears”
[Preserved Instincts] (buy)

Staff Charts

Per Bojsen-Moller
01. Omar-S, “The Shit Baby” [FXHE Records]
02. Miles Whittaker, “Status Narcissism” [Modern Love]
03. K Hand, “Out Yo Mind” [Third Ear Recordings]
04. DJ Sotofett Feat. Madteo, “There’s Gotta Be A Way (Vision of Love Club Mix)” [Wania]
05. Omar-S, “I Just Want” [FXHE Records]
06. VernoN, “Body Fluids” [Night Gallery]
07. Oliver Deutschmann, “Die Tiefe” [Vidab]
08. Bicep, “Courtside Drama” [Aus Music]
09. Lowtec, “The Rhythm” (Remix 2) [Nonplus Records]
10. Lucy & Silent Servant, “Dormancy Survivors” [Mote-Evolver]

Brandon Bussolini
01. DJ Koze, “Ich Schreib Dir Ein Buch 2013 (Feat.Hildegard Knef)” [Pampa Records]
02. Ugandan Methods, “Imperium” [Boomkat Editions]
03. KMFH, “Flemmenup” [Wild Oats]
04. Roman Flügel, “More&More&More” [Clone Jack For Daze Series]
05. Terrence Dixon, “Self Portrait” [Monique Musique]
06. DJ Rashad, “Let It Go” [Hyperdub]
07. Fort Romeau, “Love” (Dub) [Spectral Sound]
08. Phon.o, “Schn33” [50Weapons]
09. Deadboy, “Nova” [Numbers]
10. Simoncino Feat. Julian Jonah, “Where Did U Go?” (Dub) [Echovolt Records]

Dino Lalić
01. DJ Rashad, “Let It Go” [Hyperdub]
02. Madteo, “We Doubt (You Make It)” [Nuearth Kitchen]
03. DJ Sotofett Feat. Madteo, “There’s Gotta Be A Way (Vision of Love Club Mix)” [Wania]
04. Alois Huber, “Sit Dub” [Laton]
05. Container, “Treatment” [Morphine Record]
06. Royal Crown of Sweden, “Vättern” [Proibito]
07. Call Super, “Threshing Floor” [Houndstooth]
08. Pev, “Aztec Chant” [Livity Sound]
09. GB, “The Dreamer” [Gifted & Blessed]
10. Champion, “Hydra Island” [Formula Records]

Chris Miller
01. Chasing Voices, “Awoken By Tears” [Preserved Instincts]
02. Atom™, “Strom” [Raster-Noton]
03. Martyn, “Newspeak” [Dolly]
04. Steve Summers, “Call Of The Wild” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
05. Miles, “Archaic Thought Pattern 1” [Modern Love]
06. Anthony Naples, “Busy Signal” [The Trilogy Tapes]
07. DJ Koze, “La Duquesa” [Pampa Records]
08. Pépé Bradock, “Lifting Weights” [Absurd Recordings / Acid Test]
09. Elgato, “We Dream Electric” [Elgato]
10. Stefan Goldmann, Ghost Hemiola [Macro Recordings]

Michael C. Walsh
01. Omar-S, “Thank U 4 Letting Me Be Myself” [FXHE Records]
02. The Knife, “A Tooth for an Eye” [Brille Records]
03. Demdike Stare, “Collision” [Modern Love]
04. Omar-S, “Its Money In The ‘D'” [FXHE Records]
05. Pépé Bradock, “Mujeres Nerviosas” [Absurd Recordings / Acid Test]
06. EOMAC, “Spoock” [Killekill]
07. Tilman, “Lenny’s After-Party Mood” [Thema]
08. Florain Kupfer, “Feelin” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
09. Royal Crown of Sweden, “Vättern” [Proibito]
10. Madteo, “Mr. Grecko” [Nuearth Kitchen]

Brandon Wilner
01. Pépé Bradock, “Mujeres Nerviosas” [Absurd Recordings / Acid Test]
02. Anthony Naples, “El Portal” [The Trilogy Tapes]
03. Legowelt, “Visions In My Mind” [Unknown To The Unknown]
04. KMFH, “Measure2Measure” [Wild Oats]
05. Alex Burkat, “Ammadomyownthing” [Mister Saturday Night Records]
06. Space Dimension Controller, “Confusion on the Armament Moon” [R&S Records]
07. Randee Jean, “You Got It” [Clone Royal Oak]
08. The Citizen’s Band, “Softest Touch” [Live At Robert Johnson]
09. Usio, “Arobaini Na Nne” [Studio Barnhus]
10. Speculator, “Chung Edit” [Long Island Electrical Systems]

mats  on April 7, 2013 at 6:39 PM

That K Hand track is a real nasty, funky mother of a track I would’ve missed if it wasn’t included here.
I almost get that Mark Kinchin 90’s feeling.

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