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Top 10 Trip-hop records of all time

April 18, 2017 Leave a comment

1. Portishead : Dummy (1995)This album is archetypal of trip-hop. Dummy is the debut album by English band Portishead, released in the UK on 22 August 1994 on Go! Beat. The album received critical acclaim, winning the 1995 Mercury Music Prize. It is often credited with popularising the trip-hop genre and is frequently cited in lists of the best albums of the 1990s. I was seventeen in 1994 and remember its release very well. Most hip-hop afficionados deemed it worthy enough of the productions that came from that time. Some of the best hip-hop albums were released in 1994 like Illmatic by Nas. A quintessential release, well worth its classic status. Building on the promise of their earlier EP, ‘Numb’, Dummy helped to cement the reputation of Bristol as the capital of trip hop, a nascent genre which was then often referred to simply as “the Bristol sound”. The cover is a still image of vocalist Beth Gibbons taken from To Kill a Dead Man—the short film that the band created—for which the self-composed soundtrack earned the band its record contract.(Check this amazing short film featuring Beth Gibbons and Geoff Barrow) 

For the track “Sour Times”, the album samples Lalo Schifrin’s “The Danube Incident” and Smokey Brooks’ (Henry Brooks, Otis Turner) “Spin It Jig”; for “Strangers”, Weather Report’s (Wayne Shorter) “Elegant People”; for “Wandering Star”, War’s “Magic Mountain”; for “Biscuit”, Johnnie Ray’s “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”; and for “Glory Box”, Isaac Hayes’ “Ike’s Rap II”. Sour times – Portishead

2. Tricky : Maxinquaye (1995)

Maxinquaye is the 1995 debut album by English rapper and producer Tricky. By the time he recorded the album, Tricky had grown frustrated with his limited role in the group Massive Attack and discovered vocalist Martina Topley-Bird, who he felt would offer another dimension to his lyrics. Maxinquaye was produced by Tricky with assistance from Mark Saunders, who helped him utilize dub production techniques and heavily altered samples taken from a variety of musical sources. The record’s groove-oriented and low-tempo sound incorporates elements from hip hop, soul, rock, ambient techno, reggae, and experimental music. The songs explore themes of cultural decline, dysfunctional sexual relationships, fear of intimacy, and recreational drug use. In writing them, Tricky drew on his experiences in the British drug culture and the influence of his deceased mother Maxine Quaye, after whom the album is titled. Definitly one of the highlights of the whole trip-hop movement.

All vocals were performed by Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird, except on “Pumpkin” (Tricky and Alison Goldfrapp) and “You Don’t” (Tricky and Ragga) When Maxinquaye was first released, it received widespread acclaim from critics. In a review for Mojo, Jon Savage called it a very ambitious and musically audacious work that brilliantly explored the disparities in Britain’s social structure, with Topley-Bird as the “dominant voice” articulating Tricky’s vision of uncertainty in an ever-changing world. Dele Fadele from NME said the record was unprecedented, spellbinding, and revealed something new with every listen. He found Tricky’s production innovative and his fusion of various sounds so seamless, “you can’t label the results under any existing genre”.

3. Morcheeba : Who can you trust ? (1996)

Who Can You Trust? is the first album by the band Morcheeba. It was released in 1996 on China Records. Stylistically, the album is by far the band’s most trip-hop oriented release, consisting of languid, looping grooves, using mostly Rhodes piano, electric guitar and scratching. Slower, smoother, and more soulful than Portishead and less pop-oriented than the Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba have an alluringly dark sound that nevertheless remains accessible. As their debut, Who Can You Trust?, illustrates, the trio has a keen sense of how to make a pop melody seem dangerous and foreign by having it crawl out of the murk of creeping beats and ominous samples. Although the group lacks the visionary spark of Tricky and Portishead, and their songs aren’t as bracing as the Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba have a distinctive, idiosyncratic sound that makes Who Can You Trust? entrancing. Although the latter half of the album tends to sound a little samey, without many beats or hooks to distinguish each song, the album remains a hauntingly atmospheric — and quite terrific — debut.


4.Kid loco : A grand love story (1997)

 

This is one the quentessential trip hop album. Marvelously chilled grooves with some outstanding cut and paste work. His loops work to perfection. Kid Loco had a real cinematic style to his early sound. A grand love story features a sample from Easy to be hard by Three dog night on their album Suitable for framing (1969), which was also used on the movie Zodiac by David Fincher. The whole album is an ode to love, and way back in 1997 that LP was highly considered as a lover’s feast 🙂 A Grand Love Story is an irresistible romp through the lighthearted, pastoral side of trip-hop by way of orchestral pop paragons like Bacharach, Gainsbourg, and Love. Songs like the single “Relaxin’ With Cherry” and “She’s My Lover” are beautiful pop songs, constructed mostly from sampled material with a few live guitar and basslines plus vocals by Prieur and the Pastels’ Katrina Mitchell. If the ’70s fixations of Air were shifted back a decade, the results would be quite close to A Grand Love Story.

A grand love story – Kid Loco

 

 

 


5.Troublemakers : Doubts & Convictions (2000)

The Troublemakers, an innovative electro-fusion outfit from Marseilles, made their mark on the international music scene in 2000 with their acclaimed début album “Doubts & Convictions.” Far from the flashy, in-your-face style of the ‘French Touch,’ the Troublemakers’ sound revolves around subtle atmospheric mixes that transport listeners into a cinematographic universe strongly coloured by 70s influences. The trio decided to pool their individual talents and collective musical passion and team up together as a group. And thus the Troublemakers were born! The threesome soon went into the studio together to begin work on a first album, but their avant-garde tracks found no takers amongst French record companies who dismissed their work as on the one hand, “lacking genius,” and on the other not being “commercially orientated enough.” Their love of jazz is especially obvious on Chez Roger, boîte Funk :

Fortunately for the Troublemakers, their sound was picked up on by the cutting-edge American label Guidance Recordings (who had produced Fred Berthet’s first project). In 2000, the trio went on to release their debut album entitled “Doubts & Convictions.” The result? A distinctive but hard to define sound partway between electro and jazz. In fact, the Troublemaker sound is a rich melting-pot of styles, each member of the group throwing in his own personal influences. Lionel brings a soul and funk sensibility to proceedings, Arnaud adds a cinematic edge and Fred takes care of honing the tracks into a smooth final mix. On Get misunderstood, the duo has sampled a classic french monolog from the movie ”Promenade du maquereau” (Stroll of the pimp) and a great monolog from ”La naissance de l’amour”. (The birth of love). Sampling at its best, this is where trip-hop truly shines and thrives : smooth grooves mixed with cinematic ambiance reminiscent of the 1970’s.

 

6. DJ Shadow : Entroducing (1996)

In 1996, DJ Shadow aka Josh Davis released the groundbreak album ”Entroducing” a milestone in sampling and hip-hop and an amazing tour de force, one of a kind, one of the greatest albums ever recorded.  DJ Shadow’s debut is a milestone in music and one that anyone interested in non-mainstream music should hear. It might just change your outlook on the possibilities that music has to offer. I will never ever stop liking this album. I know “Endtroducing…” almost by heart but it never fails to impress me. It all started when I heard “Midnight In A Perfect World” (probably my favorite Shadow track ever), which almost brought tears into my eyes. The whole album devastated me. While the contemporary technologies seem to offer an unimaginable amount of possibilities, we realize more than ever the importance of the very essential aspect of our environment : the musical culture.

Musically, samples ranges from Tangerine dream (Strastosfear) to Metallica, Bjork (Possibly maybe) David Axelrod ( Human abstract) and thanks to the author’s very unique research that included Northern Soul, Rare Grooves & Old School Funk tunes from the sixties and seventies, The quality of the breakbeats present on this masterpiece suggests an abyssal disparity between the musical backgrounds of the contemporary and the old school artists (“Endtroducing” suggests something like the ‘introduction of something from the past’, already ended – like something brought from the old times, though through a nowadays bold perspective.)

Midnight in a perfect world

 

7. Massive attack : Blue lines (1991)

Blue Lines is generally considered the first trip hop album, although the term was not widely used before circa 1994. The album was a success in the United Kingdom, reaching #13 in the albums chart but sales were limited elsewhere. A fusion of electronic music, hip hop, dub, soul and reggae. The album established Massive Attack as one of the most innovative British bands of the 1990’s and the founder of trip hop’s Bristol Sound.

Music critic Simon Reynolds stated that the album also marked a change in electronic/dance music, “a shift toward a more interior, meditational sound. The songs on Blue Lines run at ‘spliff’ tempos — from a mellow 90 beats per minute …down to a positively torpid 67 bpm. The group also drew inspiration from concept albums in various genres by artists such as Billy Cobham (Stratus was sampled on Safe from harm), Herbie Hancock and Isaac Hayes.

The collective from Bristol have featured breakbeats, sampling, and rapping on a number of tracks, but the design of their albums have differed from traditional hip hop. Massive Attack approached the American-born hip hop movement from an underground British perspective and also incorporated live instruments into the mixes. They have also featured the vocals of Shara Nelson, Tracey Thorn, Elisabeth Fraser (From Cocteau twins) and Sinead O’connor as well as Horace Andy, along with the rapping of Tricky Kid.

Groundbreaking in every way could define the Massive attack sound and so is their use of samples. For instance, in 1998, Mezzanine marked a major departure from the jazzy and laidback sound of the first two albums (Blue Lines and Protection), invoking the dark undercurrents which had always been present in the collective’s music. The album’s textured and deep tone relies heavily on abstract and ambient sounds, as demonstrated in the song “Angel” among others.

Similar to their previous albums, the majority of the songs consists of one or more samples, ranging from Isaac Hayes to Led Zeppelin. Massive Attack sampled the song “Tribute” from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s eponymous 1972 album, used in “Black Milk”.

Some of their most noted songs have been without choruses and have featured dramatically atmospheric dynamics, conveyed through either distorted guitar crescendos, lavish orchestral arrangements or prominent, looped/shifting basslines, underpinned by high and exacting production values, involving sometimes copious digital editing and mixing. The pace of their music has often been slower than prevalent British dance music at the time. These and other psychedelic, soundtrack-like and DJist sonic techniques, formed a much-emulated style j and to quote Robert Del Naja : ‘You know, as far we were concerned, Massive Attack music is unique…

Blue Lines

 

8. Kruder & Dorfmeister : Sessions (1998)

THE best chill-out album of all time imo. Music database All music gave the album five stars out of five, opining that “the impossibly deep beats on almost every track simply couldn’t have been recorded by any other act” and referred to the music as “the most blissfully blunted music the world has ever heard. 17 years after its release, I still listen to it every month or so, mesmerized by its dubby soundscapes and hypnotic landscapes. What makes this a masterpiece is the perfect mix between original samples and new arrangement, especially basses and delays. I started listening to this release a few years ago, and it STILL sounds fresh when I listen today – and this doesn’t happen with many of my albums. Could this be the quintessential intelligent downbeat chill-out album of all time? You came home from the club spangly eyed and twitchin and you put on the K&D Sessions, like a reflex action, it wasn’t concious thought that did it, it was what you did, it was almost an unwritten law. And through the buzz of the Heads coming down, the rustle of rizzlas, the soupy herbal haze drifted K&D’s sumptuous serving of chilled beats and baselines. It swoops and rolls, slides and shuffles, cossets and supports then messes you up with ghostly, icy fingers tickling your very soul. Heck one of their remixes was even used in a movie with Daniel Craig. K&D are that cool

1st of tha month

9. Nightmares On Wax : Smoker’s delight (1995)

Smokers Delight is a studio album by British trip-hop producer Nightmares on Wax. It was released in 1995 on Warp Records in the UK, and on Wax Trax in the US. The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book in 2005. In 2015, it ranked at number 15 on Facts “50 best trip-hop albums of all time” list. George Evelyn’s solo step as Nightmares on Wax, Smokers Delight, is a whole delightfully irreducible to its parts, which, as with earlier releases, is largely electro, hip-hop, and soul, with bits of Latin percussion and down-tempo funk thrown in. Nights introlude samples Quincy Jones Summer in the city (1973) also sampled by Pharcyde on Passin’ me by in 1992 :

 

 

10. Thievery Corporation : Sounds from the Thievery hi-fi (1996) / Mirror conspiracy (2000) / Cosmic game (2005)

Rob Garza and Eric Hilton met at Eighteenth Street Lounge in May 1995. They were introduced by a mutual friend and proceeded to discuss their admiration for the work of Antonio Carlos Jobim and the 60’s bossa sound. Weeks later, in a home studio, they began to work on the music that would launch Thievery Corporation. After several early 12″ singles, Thievery Corporation released Sounds From the Thievery Hi-Fi on ESL Music. That record is already considered by most to be a classic of the new electronic era. Following that album, The Mirror conspiracy (2000) is a must have album from the Thievery Corporation, similar to the first but with a few more vocals thrown in. Production is tight and the influences are far and wide. You are taken on a trip through Jamaica, France, the Middle East, Brazil, India and maybe 70’s China Town on the Pornesque Hong Kong Triad.

The Cosmic game (2005) sees the Thievery Corporation working much more with vocals, including some contributions for a few well-known voices, such as The Flaming Lips on the twinkling, spacy “Marching The Hate Machines (Into The Sun)” or Perry Farrell lending a ache to “Revolution Solution.” David Byrne brings ‘The Heart’s A Lonely Hunter” a unique vibe. But there’s also room for lesser known artists, such as the raga singer on “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” or the Latin American contingent that starts with “Ambicion Eterna” and ends with “Sol Tapado,” while “Warning Shots” bursts out with a more aggressive dub.

Essential sultry downtempo grooves from the Washington duo!

 


HONORABLE MENTIONS :

11 Air : Premiers symptômes
12. DJ Cam : Underground vibes (1995)
13. DJ Vadim : Headz ain’t ready (1995) / U.S.S.R. Repertoire ( 1996)
14. DJ Krush : Strictly Turntablized (1994)
15. Sneaker Pimps : Becoming X (1996)

 

 

TRIP-HOP MIXES TO LISTEN TO :

 

5 mixes worth checking out on Soundcloud and YouTube

February 12, 2016 Leave a comment

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I listen to quite a bit of mixes in addition to making my own for multiple Soundcloud channels. Like everyone, I find good ones, but also, not so memorable ones but I’ve made a little top 5 of mixes I often go back to listen to.

The first mix, is well, a Detroit techno mix, that was recorded by a random guy on vinyl in the mid 90’s. This dudde is probably the most proper DJ I’ve heard in a long time! The days when you needed physical records to mix and beat matching wasn’t a 100 % accurate science. The mix has some technical mistakes but it makes it even more interesting in my opinion. Shame about the no tracklisting but this mix is an absolute gem and a kick ass techno mix. Lots of techno classics in there like : Hi-Tech Jazz by Galaxy 2 Galaxy, then Green velvet Destination Unknown, then it’s Slam – Positive education, a couple of other tracks I was able to ID : X-102 – Intro (X-102), Jeff Mills Step to enchantment, The bells, Cycle30 (A3-loop) again by Mills, Surgeon – Magneze, Dave Clarke – Wisdom To The Wise (Red 2) (Robert Hood Remix), The Advent, Regis, Dave Angel, all in all a throwback party in memory lane, circa 1995 ! One word : WOW ! The Martian – Firekeeper and Nocturbulous Behaviour by Suburban Knight are two Detroit classics that he threw in there. What’s even more impressive is the mix he did between the actual mix and clips from different SF movies.

The clips used are from these movies :

Saturn 3
Space Truckers
Galaxy of Terror
Planet of the Vampires
Lifeforce
Battle Beyond the Stars
Forbidden Planet

The second and third mixes are from Cio d’or, a German DJ who’s incredibly talented, and should be more known in my opinion. Real name Cio Dorbandt, she’s uncompromising in the music that she mixes. It’s top notch minimal mostly, but in the Boiler room (a DJ gimmick – DJs that pay to play there – that repulses me by the way, sometimes interesting though…) mix she’s adding quite a lot of melodies on top of 4/4 minimal techno. Absolute mesmerizing mix. The second mix was done in collaboration with Donato Dozzy, the famous and VERY gifted Italian producer also known for his alias Voices from the lake, hailed as the best album on RA in 2012. This mix has a stunning progression but sadly comes without a tracklist. The only tracks I was able to recognize were Dreamfish – Underwater and Monolake – Mass transit railways from the Hong kong album in 1996 on Chain reaction. The third mix on this list is a mix done for the DJ series of DJ Pete aka Substance who works at Hardwax in Berlin. If you read this and don’t know what Hardwax is then a) You’re not knowledgeable in techno or b) you’re new to genre so educate yourself and visit their site! This mix was done by Milton Bradley though, it’s a great journey into electro, old and new. The first four tracks almost gets you in Space, while the rest of the mix is solid.

Last mix is from EDM star Diplo but here in a completely different mode, totally rare groove : soul & funk. Diplo got stoned and mixed really old records for half an hour.  Great mellow psychedelic mix. Jimi Hendrix, Donavan, and Jefferson airplane most notably.

1.Detroit techno Space mix

 

 

2. Cio d’or : Boiler Room TV April, 15th 2015

Tracklisting :

1) Cio D´Or _ hecto (sounds) _ Semantica 73Y
2) Plaster _ Libra _ Stroboscopic Artefacts 015
3) Irradiation _ Magnetic Monopole _ Temp Records
4) Martyn Hare _ Unforgiving (Bombardier Rmx) _ K1971
5) Cassegrain _ Distil _ Prologue
6) Moritz von Oswald _ Jam _ Honest Jon´s Records
7) N.d. _ Serial Surroundings (Poly) _ Black String Records
8) Mike Parker _ Ringing Bass _ Prologue
9) Mike Parker _ Polar Vortex _ Mote-Evolver
10) Sleeparchive _ Meson _ zzz
11) Sleeparchive _ Hospital 4 _ zzz
12) Mike Parker _ Currents _ Tsunami Records
13) Mike Parker _ Lustration Eleven (Edit Select Rmx)
_ Prologue
14) Mike Parker _ XavRmx _ unreleased
15) Cio D´Or _ XXXIII _ Semantica 73
16) Planetary Assault System _ The Eyes Themselves
_ Mote-Evolver
17) Heiko Laux _ Souldancer (Ray Kajioka Rmx)
_ Kanzleramt
18) Obtane _ Signs of Kinetic Posession (Mike Parker Rmx _
Unreleased
19) Paul Brtschitsch _ Sightdraft _ Fusion Records
20) Function _ Immolare _ Sandwell District
21) Shifted _ Arrangement in Monochrome _ Avianmusic
22) Cio D´Or _ tomorrow was yesterday _ Semantica 73
23) Cio D´Or _ XLIV for Mike _ Semantica 73

3. Cio DOr and Donato Dozzy–J

4.Milton Bradley : wax_treatment_podcast_035 

(Right click to save on your computer)

 

5. Diplo : got stoned and mixed really old records for half an hour

0:00 The Freak Scene-Grok!

1:36 The Dutch Rhythm & Steel Show Band-Down By The River (Neil Young Cover)

3:55 Donovan-Get Thy Bearings

5:45 The Common People-Soon There’ll Be Thunder

7:55 Jimi Hendrix-Hey Baby

12:45 Dorothy Ashby-For Some We Loved

16:30 Rotary Collection-I Am The Black Gold of the Sun (Hey Love)

20:31 ???-???

23:00 US69-2069 (A Spaced Oddity)

28:00 Jefferson Airplane-Today

31:00 United States of America-Cloud Song

34:00 New Live Trio-Empty Streets

 

 

Top 20 Dub techno tracks

November 21, 2015 5 comments

vinylOriginally defined by Basic channel and later Chain reaction, Dub techno came from the Berlin techno scene and then spread to Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and now even Russia with acts like Advanced dreams for instance. When it came out, the music wasn’t labeled dub techno though. The origins of dub techno can be traced back to King Tubby and Lee Scratch Perry who were then picked as influences by the BC crew : Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus. The difference is that these two producers produced a dub-infused techno genre that had as much roots in dub reggae as it had in techno music. Experimentation by Basic Channel combined rhythmic elements of minimal techno with the dub recording process and effects of Jamaican dub reggae.

The scene was heavily centered around the record store Hardwax (which was established by Mark Ernestus) : also in the beginning some of its early iterations can be traced in the compilation Tresor II – Berlin Detroit – a techno alliance, which saw the release of  some of the early incarnation of dub techno such as Lyot remixed by Maurizio.

Then, as soon as 1995, Chain reaction, a label as equally important as Basic channel, started releasing records by Monolake, Porter ricks, Various artists, Vainqueur, Scion and Substance. Soon, Rhythm & Sound began releasing some amazing singles around 1998 but the sound also somewhat became known in the new millenium by labels such as Mille Plateaux who released compilations such as Clicks n’ cuts and glitch music appeared with luminaries such as Kit Clayton or Kid 606 not too far into dubby territory. Marc Leclair, aka Akufen was somewhat associated with that scene. Nowadays there are people in France, Iceland, Russia, Ukraine, and Germany making dub techno tracks. You’ve heard about Deepchord and Echospace but here are 20 tracks that defined the genre and are bona fide classics in my opinion (in no particular order) :

Moritz von Oswald

1.Basic channel : Phylyps track / Radiance III / Quadrant dub / 1993 / Basic channel

Choosing a favorite BC is like choosing a favorite Kratwerk or Pete Namlook record. Although BC has far less releases, they are nonetheless quintessential and are genre defying. It’s incredible to realize that these tracks were made in 1993 or 1994. I bought the steel CD for the first time in around 1998, 1999 or 2000 on the legendary Forced Exposure website. At that time, my main and sole interest towards BC was to have the remix of E2 E4 called Basic reshape. It was close to 7 or 8 years later that I started buying the individual 12 inches. Phylyps track triggers a powerful bassline and a towering kick drum that flows in an out with perfect usual German accuracy. Quadrant dub is a slow dubby track, like being immersed in the sea. Radiance has a very soothing melody, and always gets me. Insane timeless classics that will never be outdated.

2.Maurizio : M-6 / 1996 / Maurizio

Maurizio is in fact Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus also known as Basic channel. M6 was released in 1996 on his own label. It has a unique groove and is pretty much 15 years in advance in a era where his music was rather classified as techno or minimal, not even dub techno. Deep, moody and but also very danceable. Total benchmark record.

 

3.Model 500 : Starlight (Echospace unreleased mix C1) / 2008 / Echospace

One of my favourite techno releases. The original Starlight is an understated Metroplex classic from 1995 but the echospace crew demonstrated that Detroit techno can also have a techy feeling. As you’d expect from a label known for rejuvenating dub techno, the various interpretations, mostly involving Steve Hitchell or Rod Modell, may technically form a remix suite but the process calls to mind the time-honoured dub techno tactic of “reshaping” the original piece into infinity through dub techniques. It has the dub techno minimal accuracy but also Detroit techno’s characteristic textures. As an ambient DJ my personal favourite is the Echospace Dub. Techno for people with depth and perfect for driving at midnight in an empty highway.

4.Porter ricks : Port of transition / 1996 / Chain reaction

Released on the Chain reaction compilation in 1998, I first ordered this CD on Forced exposure. Port Of Transition sounds like music Drexciya would make – if they’d be making dub techno or minimal instead of electro, a real epic techno track full of ocean deep squelches. Not very melancholic, mostly minimal, and groovy. This track has a thundering bassline. Truly a shame that these guys split instead of making more music.

tonyallen[1]5.Tony Allen : Olé (Moritz von Oswald rework) / 2007 / Honest Jon’s Records

Tony Allen was the drummer of the late Fela Kuti, dubbed the African James Brown. Olé is an impressive mix of afro beat and dub. Brian Eno dubbed Tony Allen as one of the most influential drummer of our time. Moritz von Oswald, on the other hand, founder of Basic Channel was one of the most influential producers of techno music in the 1990s. In the 1980s he was percussionist for Palais Schaumburg. Von Oswald’s records are characterized by 4×4 beats with dubby basslines infused with syncopated synth pads slowly modulated over time, almost like a heartbeat slowly pulsating. On this record, Moritz Von Oswald has has remixed Tony Allen languidly in a building organic house, very much in line with his Rhythm & Sound productions, but more uplifting in mood with rolling percussion, lovingly phased guitar and unintrusive vocals.

6.Akufen : Architextures / 2000 / Hautec

Akufen aka Marc Leclair released this EP on Hautec in 2000, and the label has now folded. So this EP sells for about 150 $ on discogs!!! It’s a deep and very raw glitchy dubby spaced out techno before “My Way” but without the gimmicks too often used on that afromentionned album. Another track that has been used to death on mix cds : think of Swayzak’s Groovetechnology.

7.Monolake : Cyan / 1996 / Chain reaction

Monolake’s Hongkong album is an impressive journey that has stood the test of time. Even 18 years after its inception, it still sounds fresh. The opening track, Cyan, starts with ambient noise, like a recording of an insect farm, and glides seamlessly into a deep, minimalism. Warm synths and a very smooth bassline. Bloody essential. Anything Monolake have released or Robert Henke in solo is worth checking out in my opinion.

8.Yagya : The salt on her cheeks / 2012 / Kilk records

Although the album The Inescapable Decay of My Heart was heavily criticized for its use of vocals, I think the project is quite interesting and works well as a whole. Besides, it’s quite funny that a lot of people said Ringing sounded like the material Yagya had put out earlier but criticized this album for being too vocal. Another well mastered album on CD, shame it has no vinyl though? But it’s full of melodies and emotions and for me, The salt on her cheeks is a track that’s just simply sublime. So silk yet smooth in its execution.

 

9.Rhythm and sound : Carrier / Smile / 1998 / Rhythm and sound

Really difficult exercise is choosing a favorite R&S track. Maybe Carrier for the finesse Mark & Moritz displays in their production. Smile was made with Savage and it sounds like Mickey Dread doing minimal house yet very rootsy in terms of dub [and not so much techno but rather dub reggae] : you can tell Moritz von Oswald used a traditional mixing board while doing this. Kind of like the one he sold on Ebay a while ago ? Simply out of this world! Timeless stuff.

10.Deepchord : Vantage isle ( Spacecho dub II extended mix) /(Echospace spatial dub) / 2007 / Echospace

If you are new to dub techno or minimal techno well Deepchord is a force to be reckon with. Essential music but expansive as hell on wax…Every track on the compilation is stunning in their use of dub delays. But the Spaceecho mix, which last for a good 10 minutes, is just simply epic. Sheer deepness. Every track remixed on that CD is unique and made to explode your speakers.

080930_craig-oswald11.Carl Craig climax ( Basic reshape) / 1994 / Planet E

Released on Carl Craig’s Planet E label, the Basic reshape uses the reverse effects heavily. Basic channel made that remix in 1994. A long 13 minutes track. One of the best vinyls I own. Not too far from the E2 E4 Basic reshape remix but this version, close to 15 minutes, takes dubby techno to epic proportions in my opinion. asic Reshape features Basic Channel’s very free takes on two of Carl Craig’s projects, originally released seperately from each other on his own Planet E label. The Basic Reshape of “The Climax” (originally released in 1991 on Retroactive) first appeared on the 2001 reissue of this milestone in Carl’s work. For those of you who don’t know it, this is definitive, driving, hypnotic club music that rebuilt the tribal mastery of the original into a logic-defying display of bass shuffles and aquatic percussion that kills us every time it’s aired – just awesome. “Remake” Basic Reshape from 1994 relates to “Remake Uno/Duo”, Carl’s sample-based re-interpretation of Manuel Göttschings epochal E2-E4. Basic Channel take a radical, abstract, sample-free approach with a breathtaking slow motion groove under a multilayered sound sphere. Those of you who don’t own either or both of these absolutely classic pieces – get busy, it just doesn’t get much better than this. Killer track.

12.In Aeternam Vale : Ultrabase / 1990 / Minimal wave [Repress : 2013]

Ultrabase was released in 1993 and could very well be the first dub techno record to be released. In Aeternam Vale are French guys: Laurent Prot, Pascal Aubert, Chrystelle Marin. Centred around figurehead Laurent Prot, In Aeternam Vale started releasing records back in 1983. Allegedly recorded by French underground pioneers In Aeternam Vale in 1990,  echoing synth chords and suitably bleak chords and true or not this record is bloody essential.

13.Rhythm & Sound w/ Cornell Campbell ‎– King In My Empire / 2001 / Burial mix

This very well maybe the dub techno number feature in most DJ mixes. I remember being on Fabric (Tyler Stadius) ; Joris Voorn’s Balance 014 ; Intrusion RA.153, and so on. It has a very slow pulsation even if the BPM registers high; this track is smooth as hell. Typical Berlin sound and also more akin to electronic reggae.

14.Cv313 : Substraktive / 2007 / Echospace

313 is the area code in Detroit. CV313 is a moniker used by Rob Modell (aka Deepchord) and Stephen Mitchell aka Intrusion. The label Echospace has a plethora of dub techno classics. Subtraktive is a 15 minutes tracks that’s beatless in the first 7-8 minutes. Once the kickdrum slides in, it’s almost like a mix between two tracks. Cold like winter but enough echoes to keep you blissful.

15.Round Four : Find a way featuring Tikiman / 1998 / Main street records

Round Four features Tikiman aka Paul St-Hilaire from Jamaica. It has probably the thickest dubby bassline I’ve ever heard. Even on CD this track just wrecks any dancefloor. It was used on Richie Hawtin’s groundbreaking mix cd ‘’Decks, efx and 9090’’ as it was the last track of the mix. Mix made with an uncanny talent and pure intention! More like electronic reggae than techno but anyway just pure timeless music.

16.Various artists aka Torsten Pröfrock : No. 8 / 1999 / FatCat Records

The # 8 track was released on this CD in 1999 that I also bought on Forced exposure. While the Autechre mix is also quite good this tracks is one of epic experimental proportion. Slow, deep and immersive music. It’s just one loop but that damn repetitive loop is filtered with all kinds of effects that burst in and out for a good 18 minutes. I’ve included this track on the famous Modifyer mix in I did for Reyna, which you check on Soundcloud.

17.Spiral dub : Abeyance / Reverie / 2010 / Insectorama

I have no idea who Spiral dub is and quite frankly I don’t care. But this EP from 2010 has some gorgeous dubby vibes and with a nice shimmering lush melody. It’s definitely two tracks that are essential, they sound very deep but retain some dubby elements in the mix like echo & reverb.

18.Theorem : Cinder / 1998 / M_nus records

Theorem’s work in the late 90’s still sounds great nowadays, and very avant-garde. The work of Canadian Dale Lawrence on M_nus, who released 5 EP’s in the late nineties, it paved the way for stuff like Pendle coven. If some other material was more clicks n’ cuts, this one is a groovy 4/4 dubby track with a gorgeous soundscape. A very lively record that’s very pulsating and wrapping in its looping.

trentemoller01[1]19.Trentemoller vs. DJ Lab : Rauta (Girls remix) / 2009 / Echocord

I grew really tired of Trentemoller’s antics and his pop star behavior. He got known for his electronic EPs and LP but he seems to think of himself now as the latest incarnation of a Danish Jack White. In order words : he sucks ! He truly has jumped the shark. But he’s made some nice EP’s in the past. This one was released on Echocord, a label founded in 2002 in Copenhagen, Denmark by the Danish DJ Kenneth Christiansen. A long epic dub techno track that has a steady groove. Nonetheless, his first album is classic but I really preferred him on The last resort, released in 2006 on Poker Flat.

 

20.Rhythm & Sound w / Koki : Rise & praise (Vainqueur remix) / 2006 / Burial mix

Released in 2006, on the Burial mix label, the See Mi Yah (Remixes) saw Ricardo Villalobos, Carl Craig and legendary Francois Kevordian remix R&S. For me the tip top remix is the one by Vainqueur aka Rene Lowe, also involved in the Berlin Hardwax record shop. That remix almost goes in ambient territory.

For further references, you might wanna check my Dub tech mixes, volume I to IV (volume V is finished and will be put out in January 2016) on Soundcloud :

 

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