Little White Earbuds May Charts 2013

Chart courtesy of The Economist

01. DJ Overdose, “Housing the House”
[Lunar Disko Records] (buy)

I’ll admit, I hardly knew who DJ Overdose was when I popped on his latest release, only that he’d wisely trusted his tunes to Dublin’s Lunar Disko Records. Whoops. Born and bred in the Hague, Jeroen Warmenhoven has a pedigree which greatly outpaces his public profile. As DJ Overdose he’s released on Creme Organization, Lunar Disko, Murder Capital, and Danny Wolfers’ Strange Life Records; collaboratively, he’s worked with Alden Tyrell and I-F; and you may even recognize him as the producer behind Model Man’s EP on W.T. Record. But it’s “Housing the House” which gathers us here today — a tune so perfectly written it hits several sweet spots simultaneously. From its modest electro frame the track launches a barrage of expertly aimed synth lines, their livewire antics injecting electricity into some prototypical tropes. Sequence to overlap and intertwine, they create a stellar platform for syncopated pads and a lengthy solo which stays compelling throughout — a rare treat indicative of serious talent. I, for one, will not be sleeping on anymore Jeroen Warmenhoven records. After hearing this one, you’ll likely be on board, too.

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02. The Citizen’s Band, “Softest Touch”
[Live At Robert Johnson] (buy)

Now into its fifth year of existence, Live At Robert Johnson is finally ready for its first label compilation. Bearing the mission of embodying “the very character of Live At Robert Johnson and its affiliated club,” it’s understandable that Ata and Oliver Hafenbauer have waited until its character was etched clearly in their minds to assemble The Lifesaver Compilation. Plainly stated, it was worth the wait. There are several standouts among its 11 tracks, but it’s the second of two tracks by the Citizen’s Band which holds the most repeat value for me. The glimmering synth leads of “The Softest Touch” twist and swoop in the air like a dragonfly, esoteric progressions casting a spell on listeners to get lost in its hypnotic depths. A light but sturdy house beat provides the platform to try the spell on audiences, aided by dollops of unsettled bass. Fragility, however, is what makes it alluring; and anyway, a more forceful accompaniment would crush the delicate beauty of its leitmotif. I suspect (or hope) we’ll hear more from the Citizen’s Band care of LARJ soon.

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03. Leonid, “SD2” [Photic Fields] (buy)
LWE first noticed Paul Smith, alias Leonid, back in 2008, recruiting him to mix our fourth ever podcast. In the intervening years Smith hasn’t made any plays for the spotlight, that is, beyond the two highly sought-after EPs released by Patrice Scott’s Sistrum Recordings. Photic Fields is the latest label to coax a record from the elusive Irishman, and boy should we all be grateful for their efforts. At its core, Leonid’s sound is much the same — his compositions arrive nearly fully formed from the start and gently modulate — but appears in its most accessible state to date. “67 Jam” and “Random Waves” will get lots of spins, but for my money “SD2” takes the cake. The quality of its elements — including a promising spread of comforting pads which rise up and stretch into new notes and a relentless and squelching bass line — allows Smith to get great mileage from thoughtfully pulling elements in and out across seven minutes. Admittedly, a groove this easy to set-and-forget won’t knock many socks off. This is one of those subtle records which stays in your bag because it always gets the job done and provides a firm launch pad for less straightforward tunes. Although I’m fine waiting another couple years for the next Leonid dispatch, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t crave it sooner than that.

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04. Koehler, “Kiss Me Deadly” [Skudge White] (buy)
Skudge may have started a semi-anonymous/mysterious project back in 2011, but these days the Swedish duo have developed into their own cottage industry. The Skudge Presents and Skudge White labels leverage their already considerable renown to showcase the work of a wider cast. The latter is focused on relative unknowns or up-and-coming acts, and the UK-based Koehler is the latest to join its ranks. “Kiss Me Deadly” from his debut 12″ showcases a unique twist on the bass heavy UK house sound that’s doing the rounds. The first two minutes paint a serene mental picture where twinkling tones cascade over melancholic pads, girded by snare hits and hyper hi-hats drawn from a jungle palette. Much of this is smashed into the background by a massive, slow-churning bass line and jellied notes jiggling under the pressure. Although Koehler does well to integrate these two halves into one successful tune, it’s the separateness which makes “Kiss Me Deadly” so useful. This is one of those sneak attack tracks many dance floors will welcome with hands aloft.

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05. Stellar OM Source, “Elite Excel” (Kassem Mosse Remix) [RVNG Intl.] (buy)
From 2011-12 it seemed like you couldn’t swing a tone arm without landing on a remix by Kassem Mosse. This was good if you couldn’t get enough KM in your life, but also raised concerns of overexposure in the chin-stroking classes. So far this year there there are only two Kassem remixes floating around, and in the case of Stellar OM Source’s “Elite Excel,” the pairing is undeniable. This is especially true in light of news that he’s mixing and arranging her latest forthcoming album, assuring he knows what to do with the source material for his remix. Although not entirely as wild as the original, KM’s remix barrels through a handful of the sounds and methods which make him your favorite producer’s favorite producer: Hi-hats that jitter like mechanical shakers, big and bounding toms, and searching synth tones trying to make their way through the crowded sounds. Halfway between a jam and an oblique arrangement only for which only he knows the end point, it’s bit of a joy ride of Kassem Mosse fans and a fine opportunity to check out Stellar OM Source, as well.

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06. Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald, “Electric Garden” [Tresor] (buy)
07. DJ Sprinkles, Where Dancefloors Stand Still
[Mule Musiq] (buy)

08. Djrum, “Honey” [2nd Drop Records] (buy)
09. Outboxx, “Sunshine Mills” [Idle Hands] (buy)
10. Juju & Jordash, “A Stab In The Dark”
[Ostgut Ton] (buy)

Staff Charts

Brandon Bussolini
01. MMM, “Casio Dub” [MMM]
02. Erdbeerschnitzel, “Cushion” [Delsin]
03. Ten Walls, “Gotham” [Innervisions]
04. Marcel Fengler, “King of Psi” [Ostgut Ton]
05. The Black Madonna, “We Can Never Be Apart” [Argot]
06. Isolée, “Dennis” (Ripperton’s 8 Wheels Dub) [Pampa Records]
07. Pev & Hodge, “Bells” (System Mix) [Punch Drunk]
08. Pangaea, “Razz” [Hadal]
09. Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald, “Treehouse” [Tresor]
10. Jimpster, “Wanting You” [Freerange Records]

Kuri Kondrak
01. Willie Burns, “Pong in a Tracksuit” [Crème Organization]
02. Shwet Musali, “All Fucking Night” [Don’t Be Afraid]
03. Florian Kupfer, “Lifetrax” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
04. Ike Release, “Spells” [M>O>S Recordings]
05. Coyote Clean Up, “The Least U Could Feel” [100% Silk]
06. Huerco S., “Apheleia’s Theme” [Future Times]
07. Neville Watson, “Songs To Elevate Pure Hearts” (KiNK Remix) [Crème Organization]
08. Erika, “Tow Ride” (Marcellus Pittman Remix) [Interdimensional Transmissions]
09. Dolo Percussion, “Dolo 1” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
10. Esteban Adame, “Here First” [Ican Productions]

Dino Lalić
01. Jee Day, “Sum Of Love” [Beats In Space Records]
02. Pearson Sound, “Crimson Beat” (Ritual Mix) [Pearson Sound]
03. MMM, “Casio Dub” [MMM]
04. Nick Anthony Simoncino & Mark Rogers, “Happy” (DJ Sotofett Slow Jungle Trippin’) [Thug Records]
05. Kowton, “TFB” [All Caps]
06. Huerco S., “Apheleia’s Theme” [Future Times]
07. Mala, “Changes” (James Blake Harmonimix) [Deep Medi Musik]
08. The Cyclist, “Mangel” [Leaving Records]
09. Anno Stam, “I Still Have the Photographs” [All City Records]
10. Shay, “Haemoglobin” [Hidden Wax]

Chris Miller
01. MMM, “Casio Dub” [MMM]
02. The Knife, “A Tooth For An Eye” [Rabid Records]
03. DJ Qu feat. Peven Everett and Josh Milan, “The Way” [Strength Music]
04. Pev & Hodge, “Bells (Dream Sequence)” [Punch Drunk]
05. Samantha Vacation, “Untitled B” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
06. Pye Corner Audio, “Zero Centre” [Boomkat Editions]
07. Miles, “Technocracy” [Modern Love]
08. Dirashe Tribe, “Dirashe Drum Song” [Sublime Frequencies]
09. Delroy Edwards, “White Owl” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
10. Madteo, “Science Fiction” [Acido Records]

Harry Sword
01. Levon Vincent, “Man Or Mistress” [Novel Sound]
02. Pev & Hodge, “Bells” (System Mix) [Punch Drunk]
03. The Analogue Cops, “Second Disco Crime (Feat. Steffi)” [Restoration Records]
04. Pearson Sound, “REM” [Pearson Sound]
05. October, “Unstable Phenomenon” (Joey Anderson Remix) [Voodoo Down Records]
06. Marco Shuttle, “The Vox Attitude” (Joey Anderson’s Baby Touch Me Rmx) [Eerie]
07. Marco Shuttle, “The Vox Attitude” (Pangaea’s Remix) [Eerie]
08. S:VT, “Basement Sweat” [Work Them Records]
09. Secret Squirrel, “Untitled A1” [Secret Squirrel]
10. Big Strick, “Hayday” [Ostgut Ton]

Michael C. Walsh
01. Dolo Percussion, “Dolo 4” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
02. The-Dream, “Michael” [Def Jam Recordings]
03. Huerco S., “Apheleia’s Theme” [Future Times]
04. Fred P, “Reach” [A Harmless Deed]
05. Funkineven, “Dreams” [Apron Records]
06. Big Strick, “Hayday” [Ostgut Ton]
07. Shams, “She Wanted to Watch” [100% Silk]
08. Willie Burns, “Pong in a Tracksuit” [Crème Organization]
09. Kuniyuki, “Shout (Feat. Tetsuro Kawashima)” [Mule Musiq]
10. Mount Kimbie, “You Took Your Time (Feat. King Krule)” [Warp Records]

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