And now for something completely different.
Summer is closing in rapidly (at least for the northern part of the globe...) and I felt I needed a change. I went through my 'freestyle' section and found these. They're a tribute to the work of Ennio Morricone in two parts, released through Compost Records. Practically all Compost artists and some very special guests (check label's info on the project here) are remixing mostly well known Morricone themes. A serious approach by all artists involved certifies that the outcome doesn't degenerate in a mere chill-out compilation - after all, Compost is a serious label whatever anyone might feel about 'lounge'. Remix styles range from breakbeats and deep house to ambient and ethnic stuff, with the occasional deviation into acidic electronic areas, while International Pony (*) compose a tribute in one of their typical excursions into pop.
If you're looking for pounding techno or glitchy cuts, this is not the right post. Here, it's all about the music: the familiar melodies, the retro sounds, the memory of watching Leone movies in open air venues during summertime when I was six. For most of the younger ones this might not mean much; but then neither Kraftwerk might, in that sense. I consider Morricone's soundtracks to be orchestral pop music, instrumentals for the masses with films as the carrier medium, so it's got to have some effect on many people. The modern packaging (=remixing) could just make it more approachable - unless you're already familiar with the composer's work and you're a purist.
People who liked the Combination Traffic compilations (*) should definitively give these a try.
VA - Ennio Morricone Remixes Vol.1 2003
VA - Ennio Morricone Remixes Vol.1 2003
CD1 - CD2
And now for something completely different.
DSN are Deep Space Network, or else the Source label owners David Moufang and Jonas Grossmann.
Another late era Source record (see also *); deep, mature, complex electronics for the soul and the mind alike.
DSN - 2004 Raise This Flap
I've mentioned TokTok several times before (*).
I consider them to be a true band, in the rock/pop sense of the term; meaning they're more than one person, they come out of their bedrooms and they're performing live. They seem to have a punk background, with their DIY sensibilities and the pure lust for raw energy in their music (P.S. I just read they were connected with the Spiral Tribe family). Subsequently, it seems more fittting to put them next to, say, Neue Deutche Welle bands instead of techno stars like Westbam (...) or Ellen Allien (whom they fully supported in the early days of BPitch Control), even though they coincide with the latter.
The cover should prepare you for what you're about to encounter. Containing some of the harder stuff that I've heard from TokTok, it draws equally from the rawest from Chicago and from Berlin's early techno sound. Drum machines, synths and samplers played live, producing seismic beats causing destruction, nonetheless always given with a sense of humor and playful manners. Techno, hardcore, acid and piano house thrown in the blender. Most of the tracks are funky yet bruising; but when they're deviating they really blow the roof off - check 'Bora Bora', 'Sixpack' or 'Urod' (using swing piano samples long before everyone I know).
I'd recommend it without a second thought to every techno fan with a rough ear and an open mind.
TokTok - 2002 Tora Bora
Play the ZokFrog.
It's been two full years. I'd like to thank all of you for your continuing support and interest (which is the only reason I keep doing this, by the way). It's a good thing to know that some of you manage to find the time to pass by every day and care enough to leave a comment or something, even yet more to reply to other people's requests. An humane touch is something rare these days... aahh... (OK, next time I 'll just post a record and shut up).
This is one of the tracks that made me a DJ; that make me never want to stop.
Ian Pooley - Celtic Cross
3Phase is Sven Röhrig. The informing bio on his MySpace page is more than enough to learn the basics.
For the older ones he's no stranger anyway. He immortalized himself from the early days of Berlin techno by producing (along with Dr.Motte) one of the very first hits of the scene, 'Der Klang Der Familie'. He influenced the early Tresor sound as only the guys from Detroit had done yet, spawning a couple of thousands of imitators; meanwhile the track itself was constantly repressed, remixed and sampled (the latest version I know is 2008's from Hell).
A typical catalog mix-up occurs with 'Schlangenfarm', issued as Tresor 20 in 1992, then repressed in NovaMuteUS at 1993 (the one I've got) - which contains a track by 'Straight Road', issued as Tresor 19 in 1994... Which tells us that either (A) the Tresor guys had a secret time tunnel, or (B) the 'Straight Road' sessions were an earlier project with participating artist Andreas Grosser; of whom I know nothing. He seems to be directly influenced by the Berlin School of electronics, hence the massive analog synths and psychedelic atmos, as well as the concept (the whole record consists of one track in seven variations). Put on top of that some tough, fast 3Phase beats and you have what we used to call 'trance', before it became a dirty word.
His first album 'Schlangenfarm' is variating a lot; Orb-like ambient, house and acid influences, techno beats and the Berlin School legacy contrive to create a multi-faceted jewel - possibly a bit dim from the amount of time that gathered on it, still undoubtedly valuable. A history lesson by itself. In my mind, 3Phase easily stands as equal amongst legendary figures like Air Liquide and Thomas Fehlmann, so make sure you pay him some proper attention.
3Phase - 1993 Schlangenfarm
3Phase - 1994 Straight Road
Also check this post.
Some of you may have noticed that lately I'm a bit into early German techno - the truth is I recently ordered and watched the (2008) 'We Call It Techno' documentary, where a lot of the pioneering (now 'old school') artists or other key figures of the time deposit their views, bitch a little, brag about their doings, etc., etc. I realise I was more or less influenced. It was fun, actually. Hell, Ata and DJ T still seem to be stand-up guys, while others feed their egos and Riley Reinhold (of Traum-Trapez) expresses the same narrow-mindness I've noticed from a lot of people in Germany and which saddens me to the core of my soul. But it's still a matter of taste, as always.
Disko Bombs from the past.
An early era comp CD of tracks by several of the oldschool Munich scene, with the help of some special guests. Compiled by Hell (*), it gives a good account of early Disko B and related artists' releases, documenting the sound of the time - dirty noisy acid, speed techno and post-punk aesthetics combine with catastrophic results. Other local children of the night involved are Robert Görl of earlier D.A.F. fame and boy wonder Richard Bartz; we should possibly count Kotai (*,*) and DJ GoodGroove with them, even though they later made their name in Berlin and Frankfurt respectively.
Also represented are the Austria-based team of Pulsinger- Tukanan (here with Electric Indigo as Northstar), who played a big role in the development of this sound anyway; they're still active in it occasionally. And there's one of the rare early releases of Cologne's Riley Reinhold (of the Traum- Trapez- MBF empire), as Triple R here.
Finally, you'll find here the heavily played Dave Clarke remix on 'Hot On The Heels Of Love', Hell's take on the TG classic (*), as well as the otherworldly Jeff Mills rework on 'Allerseelen', a top track of the time.
Not for the weak.
VA - 1994 Supermarkt, a Disko B compilation
CD1 - CD2
Another album by Stockholm artist Peter Benisch (*,*). A Fax record from 1999, repressed through Ambient World in 2007 (that's the one I have).
More simplistic than 'Soundtrack Saga', it doesn't have the maturity of composition or the crispiness of production of the above mentioned epic; it's a darker affair, brooding on the edge of depression and claustrophobia. Its approach brings to mind other typical Fax concepts - all tracks feel like a part of a large session, analog lines morph around simple rhythmic elements. It also sounds a bit retro-primitive, I think it was intended to be this way though. But it's worth a try if you're into the Fax scene, certain tracks betray some quality elements to be further developed later on.
Peter Benisch - 1999 Waiting For Snow
Btw, his first one seems impossible to find (and to buy...). If anyone has it, please let me know.
I remembered the other day that people had asked for some NYC '90s techno some months ago. I'm still looking for my Synewave compilations, so I'll need some more time. Luckily though I found the following, which I decided to pack together. It's by Steve Stoll, the Blunted Boy himself, the man behind Proper NYC, a legend of NYC beats compared only to Frankie Bones and Mike Dearborn.
So, this guy from Brooklyn plays techno. Tough, muscular, hard and funky techno. He's giving us the occasional acid treatment or a housey vibe here and there; but a hip hop interlude or a jazzy pad cannot change the fact that this guy plays techno. I don't know what to say more to emphasize that these are techno records. Minimal techno records, actually- some drum loops with an edge, some dopey effects and analog synth lines held together by the sheer power of character and/or a druggy flirt with the other side of techno beat. It's not the hardest thing you've ever heard; no Panacea-like hardcorisms or DHR noise bangers, no. Just non-stop Detroit infected, adrenaline heavy hardfunk of the purest tradition.
The 'Model T' EP includes remixes by Aux 88 and Cari Lekebush.
I have some more Stoll stuff on vinyl, but ripping them is not an option yet. Still, I have my hopes for a second pack later on. Enjoy.
Steve Stoll - 1997 Damn Analog Technology
Steve Stoll - 1998 The Blunted Boy Wonder
Steve Stoll - 1998 Model T EP
Steve Stoll presents The Blunted Boy Wonder - 2000 Innuendo
P.S. Check the comments for more.
Six Nine is Carl Craig.
A couple of early '90s 12"s went out first through Planet E, then through R & S. Then they were compiled in this CD; recently they were reprinted.
An indescribable fusion of techno, house, jazz and hardcore that gave CC some hits. You'll understand why.
69 - 1995 The Sound Of Music