The Voice of Reason

Posted on October 1st, by Brad Owen in 18, House, Record Reviews, Reviews, Techno. No Comments

To Begin…

House music’s points of interest as of late- the Glasgow Underground label run by Kevin McKay and Andy Carrick of Muzique Tropique has been dropping a series of absolutely amazing twelve inches over the past six months.  Must haves include the two 4am twelve inches (complete with remixes from Omid 16B, Two Lone Swordsmen, Swag, etc.) and all of the Studio Blue projects.  Their unique blend of deep house, disco, and Northern tech house is only rivaled by Manchester’s Paper Recordings– a label who’s been very active this summer; responsible for the deep, slow, and solo-laden Dirty Jesus “Don’t Fuck With My Shit” and the stompin’ Crazy Penis record.  Word has it that a new Salt City Orchestra record is just around the corner as well as the follow-up to last year’s Paper Music moniker-  keep your eyes and ears peeled.

London’s seminal Nuphonic label has been laying low as of late-  pushing the amazing Faze Action album for all it’s worth.  However, inside sources sight forthcoming vocal cuts from Roy Davis and a full Black Jazz Chronicles album (Ashley Beedle) as upcoming pieces.

1997 has seen crappy disco rip-off filter tosh cease to be a legitimate force in credible house music.  Word to producers: no one cares that you can sample Candido AGAIN and put Todd Terry‘s drums atop- please make it stop and get back to creative use of disco elements.  Having said that, several cats have made strides using retro styling, live musicians, and innovative production techniques.  Top material includes the always impressive Idjut Boys in their various forms, Germany’s Leo Young, Disorient Records, and Harvey/Black Cock Records.

On the downtempo/jazz-n-bass end of the spectrum, we lift our proverbial hat to the busy busy Amon Tobin (featured elsewhere in this issue) for his two albums this summer- Ninja Tune‘s “Bricolage” and Shadow‘s “Adventures In Foam.”  If you want music which pisses on everything that claims to push the envelope, check out these two for a taste of what true experimentation means.  Coldcut also hit with the eagerly anticipated “Let Us Play” full length.  There were several portions on the album which amazed me and others which left me saying “what the hell were they thinking?”  Points of genius and points of- um, well- you know.  May the musical press now let their mouths drop.  Similarly, for every good record that has dropped in this genre this year, there have been five shite ones.  Be careful, it’s a jungle (no pun intended) out there.

Other points of interest include Coco Steel and Lovebomb‘s new one for Other Records, the Ballistic Brothers’ “Rude System,” and Asphodel‘s shining stars, We.  A lot of undue hype has surrounded the crap Headrillaz album-  a clear example of what a little promotional dollars can do for a group with little to no musical ingenue.

On the live circuit, the grand award goes to nu-soul sensation Maxwell.  I have to say that his Urban Hang Suite album and respective tour impressed me more than any live show I’ve seen in years.  Even the MTV Unplugged disc is worth checking out- perfect music to chill and woo women to.  Absolutely smooth and undeniably essential.

On to techno.  Ken Ishii has a new one which sort of floats on by without much happening.  However, an exciting remix EP featuring Dave Angel, Mark Broom, and Luke Slater kicks the original out of pretention into serious dancefloor material.

Adam Beyer, Cari Lekebusch, and the rest of the damn Swedes keep putting out worthy records.  Rumor after rumor keep flying about regarding a certain defunct Detroit techno label gearing up to make a comeback with a vengeance-  stay tuned here for news as it generates.  Massive member Mark Verbos‘ “Centrifuge” EP for England’s Planet Rhythm is the best thing that label has done for months… amazing that Wisconsin has finally produced a credible techno producer.  Good Job Markie!  Luke Slater‘s new full length for Novamute isn’t bad at all- however, Darren Price‘s “Under The Flight Path” clocks in a few notches higher.

Last minute material to delve into-  Pagan Records UK and their constant stream of solid twelve inches from House of 909, Housey Doingz and more… Guidance Records of Chicago- Glenn Underground and Callisto‘s new ones keep the momentum of one of the state’s best…

Thanks for listening- your comments, complaints, and discussion are encouraged.  See ya next issue!