Tag Archive: chris burkhalter

Madteo, ReCast

For evidence of Madteo’s pull within the house and techno community, witness the line-up of remixers on ReCast: Anthony “Shake” Shakir, Kassem Mosse, and Marcellus Pittman.

Kassem Mosse, 2D

There’s little in the cryptic grooves, sliding patterns and shadowy textures of Kassem Mosse’s 2D EP that suggests he’s skewing to Kinda Soul’s deep house bread-and-butter.

LWE Podcast 66: Scott Grooves

In our interview, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and DJ Scott Grooves chalks up his tinkering nature, expansive discography and trio of personal labels to simply keeping busy. He also crafted LWE’s 66th exclusive mix which isn’t going to do any damage to his reputation as your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ.

Ibex, Meltdown EP

Much like his 360 EP from 2009, Ibex’s Meltdown EP for Yore is a record that reveals its worth over repeated spins.

BBH: Larry Heard, Missing You

Alleviated Records continues reissuing classic Larry Heard sides, following the seminal Mr. Fingers with 1999’s just as potent Missing You.

LWE Interviews Sherard Ingram

Sherard Ingram’s music and life have simply seen too much growth and change to permit easy characterization. Sure, a through-line connects the span of his work, but not one that parallels any single current of electronic music history. Tipping our hats to The Wire, Little White Earbuds eagerly turn to Ingram with some follow-up questions of our own.

LWE Podcast 56: Christopher Rau

With Christopher Rau’s debut album due to arrive on Smallville this fall, LWE wanted to shed a little light on the man behind the music and present an exclusive podcast exploring the “bluesy, calm atmosphere” that is his metier.

Gerd, Friendly Fire

Claiming both sides of the record this time, the veteran producer and 4 Lux Records head reprises a formula that easily won us over last time, capitalizing on an overlay of moods.

Peter Van Hoesen, Entropic City

If you’ve followed this website even casually, it won’t stun you to read that I consider Entropic City an exemplary album from one of the most vital voices in techno today. LWE dubbed Brussels’ Peter Van Hoesen one of 2008’s “Breakout Artists” and, for his lengthy run of singles last year, we heralded him as one of five “Artists Who Defined 2009.” With quicksilver bass lines coursing beneath their rough, brambly surfaces, Van Hoesen’s shadowy warehouse tracks have long capitalized on an air of urban dystopia. The ten tracks grouped here, though, show off the producer’s experience in sound design better than ever, and the neglected Gotham skylines and abandoned, lightless interiors evoked prove vivid sonic descriptions of the title chosen for his first album under his own name (though the producer seems to have additionally mined the less figurative, thermodynamic definition for inspiration).

Actress, Machine And Voice

Earlier this month, the New York Times‘ ArtsBeat blog ran an assessment of the latest Joy Orbison EP in graph form, in which Andrew Kuo mapped his knee-jerk reactions to each of the record’s three tracks, vacillating between breathless Aphex Twin comparisons and “Fatboy Slim Junior” skepticism. Cute, if a little pat, it speaks to the “buzz about the buzz” situation that Joy’s been saddled with, his music discussed more by a watchful but largely disinterested blogosphere than by his ardent fans. A contributor to that record, Actress (Darren Cunninham) is similarly blessed with high expectations, yet he’s bypassed most of the factional fanaticism of electronic dance music and hardly registered with whatever it is that now occupies the district once known as indie rock. Perhaps it’s that his compression-faded, gray-scale sound is too modest in scale, or simply too murky. There are no sinus-clearing swells in Actress’ music; the sensation is closer to the sound of blood rushing through your ears. The man’s no recondite wall flower, though. His debut album, Hazyville, found its way onto quite a few best-of-decade lists, and his tracks have been licensed by Trus’me’s house-centric Prime Numbers, as well as for two Fabric mixes. His latest transmissions have made it easier and easier for me to see what it is that so many find special. His records have a naggingly familiar sound but, at the same time, have trademarked a sound that’s unmistakably “Actress.”

FCL, Vocals For Everyone

East Flanders was a veritable gold mine of house fundamentals in 2009, thanks to the underestimated work of the young We Play House Recordings. With an aesthetic as direct and to-the-point as the label’s chosen name, the line has typically favored retro synthetic palettes and low-slung earworm grooves. And though all of their records have been worth a look, when you start tallying last year’s out-and-out stunners — San Soda’s “Dorsnee,” Dynamodyse’s “Gare du Nord,” Reggie Dokes’ “Dancefloor Spectacle,” Russ Gabriel’s “Le Voyeur,” Ramon Tapia & Maxim Lany’s “Highway,” to name names — you can’t help but wonder how they’ve kept such a modest profile. WPH starts the new year with an in-house affair, a quartet of 90’s throwbacks from the team-up of label founder Red D and the producer behind roughly half the label’s output, San Soda. And yes, as the title suggests, you may sing along to them.

Manaboo, Unhuh

It’s getting to be full-time work keeping tabs on Brendon Moeller these days. Spread over his assorted monikers, he issued at least eight records of new material in 2009. Cohort Shigeru Tanabu has conducted himself a bit more discretely, though he did notch a soaring, string-laden peak time record with Wave Music early last year, and followed it with the loose “Jazzin'” for Apt. International. Originally a guitarist, he’s also made numerous contributions to Moeller’s Beat Pharmacy records, but Manaboo presumably brings the duo’s collaboration to full interactive fruition, the label press release emphasizing an engagement of their shared enthusiasm for jazz. Don’t let track titles like “Blutrane” mislead you, though; techno and house are the crucial touchstones here.

Mr. Raoul K, Mystic Things

We love to drag geography into discussions of dance music, and with Mr. Raoul K, it’s hard not to. Turned onto to electronic dance music after moving from the Ivory Coast to Hamburg, his reputation as a producer is founded on a growing catalog of euphoric and rather continental club tracks that swirl with traditional African elements. African motifs are hardly anomalous in dance music, but they’ve held an uncommonly prominent role in this particular producer’s discography, and not just the rhythms, either. From the balafon twinkling through last year’s excellent “Wind of Goree” for Mule Musiq to the shudders of kora heard on 2008’s “Le Cercle Peul,” Raoul’s keen interest in working with live recordings of African acoustic instruments is probably the first you notice when you hear his music — at least it was, anyway.

nsi., Eitherway

More and more, the recordings of Max Loderbauer and Tobias Freund’s Non Standard Institute seem to parallel the ineffable and absorbing audio artifacts they namecheck from time to time — records like Cluster’s Großes Wasser, Pharaoh Sanders’ Thembi, or This Heat’s This Heat. Like those records, their latest EP sounds as though conceived through exploratory tinker-now, edit-later studio sessions where the ultimate goal isn’t necessarily a new record. All the same, their latest eccentric collection of fascinating, too-brief compositional sketches is a richly satisfying listen. Cut from the same cloth as the track LWE hosted as a free mp3 this month, you could imagine Eitherway as something like last year’s RA-podcasted Mutek set, but parsed into discrete vignettes.

Area, Absence

Few things grab my attention like a Benjamin Brunn credit on the sleeve, and it’s particularly nice when they fit as neatly as the one here. Area is an alternate guise for Canadian-born, Chicago-reared DJ/producer m50. I’m not sure what the exact distinction is, but this particular EP — for François K’s Wave Music — traffics in forms of abstracted melodic house not distant from Brunn’s esteemed body of work. Assured opener “LLPOD” has a tense dance floor utility and an almost jazzy swing, but what makes it memorable are the sputters, drips and steam jets animating the background, reminding of the atmospheric eddies of Brunn’s “Raymond.” Its abstracted dub grooves also put me in mind of, for example, Anders Ilar’s “Organza.” Little details similarly animate “Respons,” a simple techno builder that works small wonders with a robotic tintinnabulation bubbling brightly at the track’s surface.

Bas roR, Fixed Purpose

Fostered by the hungry eclecticism of The I-F’s legendary Cybernetic Broadcasting System and the music communities that have gathered in its wake, Bas roR has been DJing around Rotterdam for some time (in clubs and on the radio) and has already notched a memorable EP with Kubra’s “Control Issues,” a collaboration with DJ Tim for Arne Weinberg’s AW Recordings. Like much of the Kubra record, Bas roR’s solo debut recalls the deep and the weird of 90’s techno — Dan Curtin, Ultradyne and Stasis all come to mind, as well as some Rephlex sounds. The brushed percussion, bright melodic squiggles and brooding chord patterns of the title track, for example, are pure zero-gravity, practically describing a slow drift through a meteor shower.

STL, Check Mate

When the time comes for year-end wrap-ups, count on STL’s pursuit of techno’s humid depths to be one of 2009’s leading stories. The past eleven months saw Stephan Laubner following other creative muses as well (and prolifically), but between the “Silent State” EP for Smallville and a mix CD tellingly titled Dub Techno Explorations, it seems safe to declare a new chapter in the STL legacy. Despite its reverb and grit, “Silent State”‘s bass lines were so buoyant that many notched it as house, but Exploration‘s seventy minutes of dub techno oxidation aimed more for texture and atmosphere. Appropriate enough, then, that the Echospace crew took interest, helping Laubner issue — by my count — his tenth record of 2009.

Resoe, Magnolie EP

Though Resoe is his primary musical outlet, Copenhagen’s Dennis Bøg also makes up one half of Pattern Repeat where, as diligent LWE readers can tell you, he teams up with Echocord head Kenneth Christiansen. Little surprise, then, that the latest Resoe record — for his own Baum Records — deals in the sort of burly, Chain Reaction-inspired dub techno that’s earned labels like Modern Love, Statik Entertainment, and of course Echocord their many dedicated followers. A-side “Cosmic Blast” is all chunky bass, chiseling high-end percussion, and blurred, wet chords. But where a lot of the deeper end of techno seems to be courting a more meditative listening experience, “Cosmic Blast” is stern and propulsive – destined for club use. If, however, you take your washes of delay with a little more “numb,” you’ll find a deep track for late morning in “Dusty Grounds.” It’s makeup is much the same, but more about atmospherics than thunder. Of course, neither track is going to shock you. Naysayers will groan that they’ve heard this before. Myself, I’m content to enjoy this sturdy example of the genre.

Odd Machine, Phase In

It’s always seemed to me that Tobias Freund’s Non Standards Productions have been more about sessions than tracks, and Odd Machine’s “Phase In” is no exception. For the second Odd Machine release, Freund pairs up with his old friend, Uwe Schmidt. Like many of this duo’s past collaborations (from back when Freund’s business cards still read “Pink Elln”), this session is characterized by live improvisation within established technical boundaries. Freund unsurprisingly clings to his Roland TR-808, while Schmidt gets comfy behind a vintage Linn 9000/LM2 drum machine and one of those newfangled, Lite-Brite-looking Yamaha Tenori-On machines. Get “Phase In” spinning and the first thing you’ll hear is the voice of Roger Linn giving a cook’s tour of the drum machine he designed — a telling sign of things to come.

Alex Cortex/DJ Stingray 313, Soliton/Null Physics

Alex Cortex has recently announced his exit from techno music, citing (among other reasons) a lack of gigs and cool label interest. Don’t blame Dan Lodig or Art Vega, though. Three of the last five releases for their Pomelo imprint have showcased the diverse Cortex stylings. The latest of these finds Cortex working alongside kindred spirit Sherard Ingram, here assuming his DJ Stingray 313 handle.