Little White Earbuds September Charts

sept
Chart courtesy of The Economist

01. The Mole, “Lockdown Party” (Sprinkles’ Crossfaderama) [Perlon] (buy)
This year has already seen a concentrated reminder of Terre Thaemlitz’s tremendous remixing skills in the form of Queerification & Ruins, and yet this might take the cake as her best remix to date. Sprinkles’ “Crossfaderama” of The Mole’s “Lockdown Party” is remarkably true to the original in how it integrates all its wolf howls, electric banjo lines, farty bass lines, and gleeful party chants. Like a drag queen preparing for a ball, however, she refashions these wild and unwieldy elements into an elegant and unforgettable new arrangement. It helps that they’re spread thoughtfully over 12 minutes with the human energy of the crowd noise at the core — a much more party/DJ friendly arrangement. There’s also a sense of play in how the samples are rapidly chopped with flicks of a wrist on a crossfader, which also shoots Fingers-like bass notes into the mix, as if a Chicago classic is just tantalizingly out of reach. When this track floats from speakers the whole room seems a bit lighter on its feet, a bit more carefree — a willingness to relish sounds which might otherwise raise eyebrows in other settings. DJ Sprinkles may be best remembered for her tear jerking tunes, but a remix like this finds her just as engaging when embracing the joy of a party.

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02. Spaventi Dazzuro, “Lonely” (Crunchy Club Mix) [M>O>S Recordings] (buy)
MarcoAntonio Spaventi has moved from strength to strength since starting his solo career last year. Following two collabs with James Priestly on Secretsundaze, the Italian-born, Amsterdam-based producer truly hit his stride this year with two excellent records for M>O>S Recordings and another for Most Excellent Unlimited. “The Jungle” was one of my favorites earlier this year, and yet I suspect the “Crunchy Club Mix” of “Lonely,” released under the name variation Spaventi Dazzuro, has even more potential. Whereas the “The Jungle” felt like an expertly executed live take, “Lonely” seems a bit more calculated without losing any of the frenetic energy. And while still likely constructed with a mess of hardware, the tune channels a different era than many analog obsessives tread, offering his own take on mid-90s French house. Spaventi builds ascending synth melodies as ladders between spacious dance floor moments where a bass line wriggles and frugs nearly by itself, filtered vocals swooping in to keep it company. But the genius is in the arrangements and execution, which transitions seamlessly from thrill after thrill, appealing to multiple crowds at once. DJs would do well to bag this one while they can.

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03. Stingray 313, “NKKK4_2” [[NakedLunch]] (buy)
I get the sense we’re on the cusp of an unexpected new trend — the return of dub — and this record is among the first to signify it. Perhaps it’s a reaction to a surfeit of deep house and all the retro house, perhaps we’ve just reached this stage in the constant churn through dance music’s history. Either way, dub’s echo-laden influence is starting to creep into all sorts of unexpected places. It’s less of a surprise coming from Sherard Ingram, Drexciya survivor and Detroit staple, whose music is no a stranger to aquatic delay and reverb. What’s arresting about “NKKK4_2” for [NakedLunch], however, is how fresh it sounds in his hands at this moment. A dark, muscular bass line twitches beneath constant, scissoring hi-hats that drive the track towards loose, rattling dubbed chords. Ingram wisely avoids the trap of stopping there as most dub techno tracks might, offering a vigorous synth retort to the wavy reverberations, one which themselves defray into new chords. Yet it never loses it weight and heft, providing for the DJ and their audiences equally. You almost wonder why more people haven’t managed to balance dub effects and techno melodies with more care; it makes me wonder how widely this dub-curiousness will spread.

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04. Pegasus Heat, “Yum Yum” (Ike Release Gummi Remix) [Episodes] (buy)
For me, remixes that merely garnish new productions with hints of the original often miss the mark. Many who avoid the challenge of offering a new perspective of someone else’s work use remixes as a clearinghouse for half finished originals. Ike Release could have gone that route when remixing Pegasus Heat’s “Yum Yum,” given that it’s on his own Episodes label. Instead, the Chicago-based producer acts as if he was present during the tune’s birth; and given that its parents are Chicago Skyway and Hakim Murphy, there’s a decent chance that was the case. It’s like the second time you’re having the same dream: the fluffy pad once at ankle height floats preciously at eye level; heavily syncopated snare hits cut through the gurgling midsection with jazzy precision; and a new, Chicago-centric bass tone from your memory banks shows up to sweeten the whole package. What Ike’s version lacks in utility it makes up with an added musicality that took only a few tweaks to realize, resulting in an altogether more splurge-worthy EP.

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05. HNNY, “Mys” [Let’s Play House] (buy)
As evidenced by his Studio Barnhaus and Local Talk releases, Johan Cederberg clearly knows his way around a vocal sample. Better known as HNNY, the young Swedish producer’s garage-influenced house tracks are rarely without them, and yet “Mys,” the title track of his new EP for Let’s Play House, pushes that to the limits. Recalling his audacious “I Want To Know What Love Is” edit, “Mys” takes the crucial step forward and creates a compelling track around the all-consuming vocals — a startlingly lush 3-part harmony getting astounding mileage out of “ah” and “ooh.” With the vocals shifting between hopeful and melancholic, HNNY’s relatively spare production is built to emphasize whatever it’s accompanying. Simple snares and clinking hi-hats fit into the crevices around the vocals, keeping things ticking along as the bass yearns to be the fourth member of the vocal quartet. Further, the vocals are given space to breathe by themselves throughout the track, which is somehow quite affecting even as it sacrifices some dance floor momentum. Ordinarily, tracks which rely so heavily upon long, charismatic vocals strike me as entertaining but somewhat lazy. “Mys” reminds me that just finding a perfect vocal to riff on — and then doing it well — takes skill, as well. 

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06. Julius Steinhoff, “You Collect Secrets”
[Live At Robert Johnson] (buy)

07. BNJMN, “CVRD” [Rush Hour Recordings] (buy)
08. Hugh Mane, “Hard To Finish If You’re Finish” [Running Back] (buy)
09. Terrence Parker Feat. Reno Ka, “Finally” (Louie Vega Remix) [Planet E] (buy)
10. Credit 00, “East of Nowhere”
[Uncanny Valley] (buy)

Staff Charts

Steve Kerr
01. Willie Burns, “Honey Let Me” [Sex Lies Magnetic Tape]
02. Innercity, “Last Late Summer of Sanity” [Orre]
03. Alex Israel, “Bubble Wrap 106” [Still Music]
04. Hexaquart, “Prozac” [Force Music]
05. Ilustradora Carme’n’ Alve’s, “Um Bom Natal Pra Ti” [40% Foda/Maneirissimo]
06. SETH, “Fish Oil” [UNO NYC]
07. Prince of Denmark, “Cut 02” [Giegling]
08. Jessy Lanza, “Against The Wall” [Hyperdub]
09. Austin Cesear, “Yep” [Proibito]
10. Ramzi, “Monster’s Makeup (Feat. Bataille Solaire)” [Total Stasis]

Dino Lalić
01. El Mahdy Jr., “Gravity” [Boomarm Nation]
02. Phillipp Matalla, “Lack of Loss” [Kann Records]
03. Pittsburgh Track Authority, “Allegheny Acid 01” [Pittsburgh Tracks]
04. Iasos, “Crystal Petals” [Numero Group]
05. Population One, “Untitled B2” [Reduction]
06. Black Deer, “Apex Break” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
07. Aquarian Foundation, “Mystery Track” [Going Good]
08. Pearson Sound, “Lola” [Hessle Audio]
09. Tessela, “Nancy’s Pantry” [R&S Records]
10. Circle Traps, “Obelisk” [Five Easy Pieces]

Chris Miller
01. Legowelt, “Teen Romance” [Long Island Electrical Systems]
02. Abdulla Rashim, “Semien Terara 1” [Abdulla Rashim Records]
03. Huerco S, “Plucked From The Ground, Towards The Sun” [Software]
04. Move D, “Ground Zero” [Off-Minor Recordings]
05. Prince Of Denmark, “Cut 02” [Forum]
06. Even Tuell & Midnightopera, “Workshop Special 02 A1” [Workshop]
07. DCantu & JM De Frias, “The Light” [Sequencias]
08. Redshape, “Made Of Steel” [Present]
09. Moritz Von Oswald Trio, “Blue Dub” [Honest Jon’s]
10. L.B. Dub Corp, “Nearly Africa” [Ostgut Ton]

Brandon Wilner
01. Austin Cesear, “1 Year” [Proibito]
02. Gunnar Haslam, “Nevenoe” [Argot]
03. Space Dimension Controller, “First Glance” [Clone Royal Oak]
04. Prophet, “You Really Turn Me On” [Beat Electric]
06. Move D, “Picking Flowers For You (Off Major)” [Off Minor Recordings]
05. Pornojumpstart, “FORM_” [white]
07. The Stranger, “Grey Day Drift” [Modern Love]
08. Jose Manuel, “Samsara” [Lectric Sands Records]
09. Patrick Vian, “Oreknock” [Staubgold]
10. Crystal & S. Koshi, “Break the Dawn” [Beats In Space Records]

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Little White Earbuds September Charts 2013 &nda...  on October 5, 2013 at 8:58 AM

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