A Deep voice from the Lake

August 15, 2016 Leave a comment

Maybe it was 3 or 4 years ago. I had first read about it in Resident advisor a year before but as their reviews are often to be taken with a grain of salt and often features duds, I didn’t check the album properly. Then I bought the album on vinyl, great experience but, most mixed albums fit better in the CD format. The mastering on cd here is fully is showcased in its glory at Enisslab studio, owned by Giuseppe Tillieci aka Neel, one part of Voices From The Lake. The title in itself was mysterious and enigmatic and it was one of the first things I heard from Italian producer Donato Dozzy. Voices from the lake consist of 2 Italian producers : Donato Scaramuzzi aka Donato Dozzy and Giuseppe Tillieci. Their eponymous debut, self titled Voices from the lake has gathered unanimous praises and after having listened to it for at least 25 or 30 times, I have to say that it is one of those albums that will come to define an era. The current decade for sure. Is it techno, or more precisely, Dub techno, ambient, minimal, electronic dub or all of the above ? Does it really matter ?

I’ve become less and less enamored with reviewing music because, to be frank, new music kinda sucks when you age (I’m not into the new Massive attack per se, as an example) and second of all, I kinda think like Zappa when he said that ”reviewing music with words is like dancing on architecture”. But here, we have an album that totally reinvents techno especially with those sublime warm ambiences. A lot has to do with the hypnotic grooves throughout the whole record : it’s like one idiosyncratic pulse that never wander away…There is a pulse for certain, but that is not what carries the mixed music as a whole, I mean it’s there, sometimes beneath the fuzzy textures but it’s not how I would define that quintessential record. So how would I ? Or better yet, why would I need to ? The result is rather most intriguing : it’s highly dynamic but yet very enigmatic as the grooves are never locked in there forever. They don’t dissappear either, they rather morph into something – an elusive mix of electronic that holds itself together like shapeshifting alien. The flow, the pacing and the spaces filled in the music are perfect.

This album is not and cannot be an instant favorite. It needs time to delve into one’s psyche. But when it stays, tracks like Virgo, remain there forever : This level of complexity wouldn’t be possible in most producers’ hands. As an art form, techno often strives to make something emotionally engrossing without using conventional stimuli like melody or lyrics. Dozzy and Neel have an incredible ear for sound design (Neel has also mastered many of Dozzy’s past records, including his album K, along with numerous other releases on Prologue), and this allows them to give each moment of the album a vivid foreground, middleground and background, each with countless details to pick apart. Voices From the Lake captivates from one moment to the next, but there’s
 a broad compositional element that keeps the whole thing moving. More than having just a beginning, middle and end, it has an introduction, several chapters and an epilogue.

The most memorable of these moments is “S.T. (VFTL Rework),” a new version of a song Dozzy recorded for an earthquake benefit compilation called Composure: Ambient Techno for Japan. By the time this track comes in, some 30 minutes into the album, we’ve gotten used to the idea that rhythm, texture and atmosphere might be all we’re going to get. This makes the arrival of smooth major chords, slowly cascading into the mix, truly climactic. Suddenly the album has an emotional dimension you didn’t see coming. It was a framework or a gimmick that was used a lot in the 1990’s on the IDM, ambient-techno and techno records. While working within known tools of electronic music such as sound design, linear rhythms, and slow build-ups, they have reworked techno’s fundamentals. This is why it is such a great record, a quintessential record, one that will stick for years to come. The range of soundscapes displayed on that record is so vast that it truly speaks for itself. I can’t think of a single techno, or dub techno, or minimal album that has struck such a deep Voice from the lake.

It is a landscape that is as beautiful as it is mesmerizing. The kind of place where I’d never want to vanish from, or maybe stay in the background, with the music flowing and growing on the same lake. Maybe that’s why it was called Voices from the lake. The voices remind me of Persistence of time by Dali. They never truly get out of your head. And we don’t want to either!

Breaking bad mix tape – best tracks of the seminal tv show

August 4, 2016 Leave a comment

sound_systemHaving binged watched Breaking bad for the 4 th time, this time in 3 weeks, I have compiled a simple mix of some of  the best tracks. Needless to say, if you haven’t watched this show yet, do yourself a favor and lock yourself in your basement and binge watch the best show ever on the small screen cuz unlike what Walter White said, ”masturbating, watching Breaking bad and eating cheetos all day does constitute plans”!

 

 

 

Top 5 Breaking bad tracks :

1) Tommy James And The Shondells : Crystal Blue Persuasion : Wanna cook ? (1968)

Crystal Blue Persuasion is a 1968 song originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells and composed by Eddie Gray, Tommy James and Mike Vale. A gentle-tempoed groove, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was built around a prominent organ part with an understated arrangement, more akin to The Rascals’ sound at the time than to James’s contemporary efforts with psychedelic rock. In 2012, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was used in the eighth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad, “Gliding Over All”, during a montage depicting the process involved to bring main character Walter White’s methamphetamine operation and its signature blue crystal meth to an international level.

2) The Peddlers : On A Clear Day : 1968

The Peddlers were a British jazz/soul trio of the 1960s and 1970s.In 2012, The Peddlers’ 1968 jazz cover was used in season 5 episode 3 (“Hazard Pay”) of AMC-TV’s Breaking Bad over a montage of Walt and Jesse’s meth manufacturing.

 

3) EL-P & Trent Reznor : Flyentology (Cassettes Won’t Listen Remix) 

EL-P aka El Producto, is an American hip hop recording artist, record producer and record executive from Brooklyn, New York City. Originally a member of Company Flow, El-P has been a major driving force in alternative hip hop for more than two decades, producing for several notable underground rappers. Here he collaborates with Trent Reznor of Nine inch nails fame.

4) Flavor Flav : Unga Bunga Bunga 

Plays in the background of the big party bash of Jesse Pinkman’s flat.  From Flavor Flav of Public Enemy fame. It is his first solo album and the only non-Public Enemy album made by him

5) Thee Oh Sees : Tidal Wave 

If or when I’ll throw a party, I ll be sure to put this on. A killer surf tune! In 2011, the band’s single “Tidal Wave” was featured in the Breaking Bad episode “Salud“, where it plays over Gus Fring’s poisoning of Don Eladio and his capos.”Fill your pockets and leave in peace, or fight me, and die!”

An edit mix of Funky edits…and some tunes..so fresh!!!!

Unlike remixes, an edit or a re-edit consists is an altered version of a recorded song created by repeating, reordering, or removing sections of the original recording – for example, making a chorus repeat several times in a row, or extending the length of a break section. Like remixes, re-edits are especially common in dance music.

In recent years, people like Dimitri from Paris, Greg Wilson and Todd Terje have made numerous gems while reworking some classic tracks of disco, pop, soul or funk. I ve gathered 10 of my favorite edits below :

1) Dimitri from Paris : Chic : Le Freak

This is hands down, the best edit I ve ever heard. Completely dazzle me everytime I listen to it : keeps the mesmerizing bassline, adds an extra break to mix it up longer and loop it as well, a total revamp of the classic which renders the original completely obselete! Total dancefloor killer :D: Sacré Dimitri!

2) The Reflex : Blondie : Rapture

So many edits of this song exists. Why would this one be ever different ? First of all, pretty much everything this guy releases is completely revamped versions of originals. You Can tell he spends a lot of time in the studio. Greg Wilson had this to say about The Reflex :

The Reflex has recently come to prominence in underground dance circles via his ‘Reflex Revisions’, which are basically remixes as they used to be back in the day (expect, of course, that they’re unofficial), when the remixer worked purely from the original parts, reinterpreting what was recorded on the multitrack, rather than replacing stuff wholesale, or even changing everything so that the original only remains in name, as became the case later down the line when record companies saw the possibility of selling, let’s say, a Techno track to a Hip Hop audience.

Full text here.

This Rapture edit adds a thick layer of bassline. On the repeat button for me it has been for a long time since I discovered it on the Gilles Peterson show!

3) LNTG ( Late night tuff guy) : Diana Ross : Boy u turn me

LNTG is a name to be reckon with on the disco / funk edit scene. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold. I don’t think I can go back to the original after listening to this gem of absolute funkiness! Would you ?

4) DJ Butcher : Marrs – Pump Up The Volume (DJ Butcher Dub)

As the leader of the band recently passed away, I couldn’t pass this one. The original is one HUGE classic dance track that was featured on American psycho ( I’m into murder & execution – I m into merger & acquisition) DJ Butcher here keeps the original while making it more DJ Friendly. Read more about it here.

5) Danny Howells : Donna Summer : I Feel love re-dub

Not really a remix (Patrick Crowley would be hard to beat) but more of an edit, this track needs no presentation and should be in any DJ’s record box. From 2002-2003, an absolute bomb!

6) Nasty Frenchie : Blondie : Heart of glass

I’ve listen to DOZENS of re-edits of this  song and I keep getting back to this one. Adding multi track of her own vocal makes this classic even more funky. Adding a touch of modernity, making it more DJ friendly with a nice chunky break at the end. Get back in 1979!

7) Billy Cobham : Stratus reflex

Another gem by this guy, goes straight to the rhythm section and it’s not bad thing since I always felt the intro was the weak point of the track. Was sampled by Massive attack on their album Blue Lines and the track Safe from harm in 1991.

8) Todd Terje : Roxy music : Love is the drug disco dub

Grace Jones had also made a great version of the track but the Roxy music dub edit features echo, extended bassline and chunky beat. A bloody well executed mix/edit!

9) Groove Is In The Heart • The Reflex Bootsy + Q-Tip Re√ision

Absolutely sick edit of this classic. The extended version gives much more range than the original which was too short to mix. A funky intro and better use of Bootsy Collins’s vocals. Another fine example why The Reflex is in a league of its own!

10) Moondog – Bird’s Lament (Alkalino Reform)

Alkalino is another name/producer to be reckon with. His version of Mellow mellow by Lowrell, sampled on Lately by Massive attack, is also quite gorgeous. However, here he has outdone himself. The Moondog bassline is famous to have been sampled by Mr Scruff on his classic Get a move on. But here we get almost an housy track that keeps the feeling of the original track intact!

Here is a mix I ve done with my favorite edits : perfect for summer nights! From jazz to soul, funk, disco and new wave.

70 minutes of edits – Funky Jeff

 

1) Intro : Foxy Brown + Dolemite + Black Belt Jones Mashup Blaxploitation
2) Labi Siffre – I Got The (Karim One-O-Nine Edit)
3) Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys – Who Knows (Suonho raw-dub)
4) Kool_The_Gang_-_Summer_Madness_DJ_Butcher_Hip_Cut
5) Camille Yarbrough – Praise You – (Jim Sharp Edit)
6) The O’Jays – For The Love Of Money (Apple Scruffs Edit)
7) Linda Lyndell – What a Man (fdel Mix)
8) The Chi-Lites – Are You My Woman (Bobby Cooper DJ Friendly Re-Edit)
9) Marlena Shaw – California Soul (Bobby Cooper DJ Friendly ReEdit)
10) Blondie – Rapture [The Reflex Re√ision]
11) The Clash – The Magnificent Dance (Pied Piper Dub)
12) Average White band – Pick up the pieces (Pied Piper Remix)
13) Groove Is In The Heart • The Reflex Bootsy + Q-Tip Re√ision
14) Marrs_-_Pump_Up_The_Volume_DJ_Butcher_Dub
15) Talking Heads – Burning Down The House • The Reflex Re√ision
16) Indeep : Last night a DJ Saved my live (Dr Packer’s acid rub)
17) Roxy music – Love is the drug (Todd Terje disco dub)

Tracks used on the mix :

karimchehab.bandcamp.com/track/i-got-…-o-nine-edit
@ivan_garcia
@georgekelly-gr
@jimsharp
twitter.com/scruffapple
@fdel
@djbobbycooper
@thereflex
@piedpiper
@dr-packer

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