donderdag 20 december 2007

Noize for boys: 2007's top producers.

Normally, we're on our break but we figured we couldn't just stop posting things without doing something special. And since it's the time of the year, we decided to make a top ten of the finest producers of 2007. To earn a spot in our top ten, one would have to produce on a consistent level and not limit oneself to a fantastic compilation (Booka Shade, Ewan Pearson) , to mind-blowing remixes (Carl Craig) or just a fantastic album (Pantha du Prince). What we were looking for were producers who managed to combine these elements. After doing some thinking, we came up with a blend of promising new talents and well-established names in what is to be our top ten...

10. Crookers
A breakthrough year for the talented Italians who created a furor with a series of excellent remixes and some very nice productions of their own.

9. Burial
An artist that most will know because of his wonderful album "Untrue", which is acclaimed by many as one of finest as 2007, and I have to join the party as well because words fail to describe the exceptional quality of "Untrue". Just listen to it is my advice. Moreover, Burial has made some tremendous remixes such as the one for Jamie Woon's "Wayfaring Stranger" and one for Bloc Party.

8. Brodinski
In his debut year, the young Frenchman made a series of impressive remixes (especially the one for D.I.M's "Is You", which helped to ease the pain for the dissapointing original) and an amazing track of his own: "Bad Runner". Keep an eye on this kid!

7. Hot Chip
Hot Chip keeps amazing us by constantly doing new things. They now made a compilation for the reputed DJ Kicks series which was quite fabulous indeed. It was surprisngly coherent and the exclusive track they recorded for this compilation ("Piano") is the shit because I couldn't get it out of my head for like 2 weeks. Not to mention the terrific remixes they made for the likes of Matthew Dear ("Don and Sherri") and Chk Chk Chk (Must be the Moon).

6. Efdemin
This bloke came up with an amazing album early this year and then followed through by creating top quality remixes such as Gestern's "Till Von Sein", Sascha Funke's "The Acrobat" and Andreas Heiszenberger's "Perfect Moment". And next to his album, he even produced two more EPs: "Lohn & Brot" and "Métisse 02". I can just keep listening to his releases. Every time I seem to detect something new, or maybe that's just my imagination. There's just something magical about his productions. Just listen to "Acid Bells" (those drums!) and you'll see what I mean...

5. Midnight Juggernauts
One of the most impressive breakthroughs of the year can be accorded to Midnight Juggernauts. Last summer, their massive album "Dystopia" was released and more than the Klaxons' "Myths of the Near Future", this album made me like the whole nü-rave concept. They also made some nice remixes, especially their version of Kim's "Wet N Wild", which was wild indeed.

4. Boys Noize
After strong productions "Don't Believe The Hype" and "Feel Good (TV = Off)", it was Boys Noize who washed away my dissapoint of earlier maximalist albums of Justice (they aren't to be compared with Daft Punk at all) and Digitalism with his massive debut album "Oi Oi Oi". He's also the man who's responsible for the track I listened most to this summer, namely his remix of Feist's "My Moon My Man". And his remix of Justice's Phantom Pt II just makes the original sound like a mellow piece of trash compared to the raw trash beats Ridha had in store for us. I could keep going on about Alex Ridha but I'll just conclude by saying that he is the true master of maximal nowadays.

3. Klaxons
These guys are the undisputed flag-bearers of the new nü-rave sound and I must admit that they've kind of earned it. Their album "Myths of the Near Future" sounds innovative and was very much liked by, well, just about everyone. But what I liked most was the Bugged Out compilation they made because they actually showed that they don't have to continuously elaborate on nü-rave (meaning: Guns N Bombs or Punks Jump Up tracks would've been obvious on this mix). This Bugged Out mix of theirs is truly impressive because it travels through different genres (Wu-Tang clan!, Roy Orbison!) and features many not so well known artists (Overnoise, Aleister Crowley,Da BoogieBoys and basically a shitload of others I'd never heard of). And in case you doubted their mixing talents, it is very well executed.

2. Radio Slave
What I like about Matthew Edwards is his versatility. Whether he's making electro house or dropping dance floor bangers or creating minimal techno, he always gets it right. His "Screaming Hands" is arguably my favourite track of 2007 and the recently released "Bell Clap Dance" has already been placed in my Favourite-tracks-of-the- moment-playlist on the iPod. His Misch Masch compilation was magnificent and his recent compilation of Rekids released gave me goosebumps. I hope he keeps up the speed at which he makes remixes, productions of his own and compilations because I couldn't bear long without some new things by Radio Slave.

1. Matthew Dear
Under his Audion alias he keeps on making remixes that stun everything they touch. Even over a year after its release, "Mouth to Mouth" still feels like getting hit by a sledgehammer. And I don't mind taking the hit time after time. He pulled off the same trick with his 2007 remixes for Blackstrobe's "I"m a Man", Dubfire's "I Feel Speed" and the Chemical Brothers' "Do it Again". This year was also the year in which Matthew Dear made a synth-pop album that shows his songwriter talent: "Don and Sherri" and "Give me More" are stunning. Matthew Dear is an incredibly talented artist who manages to do quite a lot of things at the same time and make them sound good ,which makes that he holds the rightful claim of best producer of 2007.

An honorable mention to those who didn't make it into our top ten: Redshape, Franz and Shape, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz, Jamie Jones, My My, Pantha Du Prince, Sebo K, Gui Boratto, Stephan Bodzin, Aril Brikha, Soulwax and Ricardo Villalobos. A word of explanation on the latter: Villalobos has produced "Fabric 36", which is basically an album since it contains only material of himself, has created "Sei es Drum" and outstanding remixes (Shackleton's "Blood on My Hands"). The reason why he isn't in this top ten is because you'd expect things like that from Villalobos. It's because of the hype that is created around him, expectations are just so high that people almost think it normal that he makes truly exquisite productions such as "Fabric 36". Villalobos should basically always be in some top 10 as producer of the year, or for album of the year or even remix of the year. We like to think that other producers, like Brodinski and the Crookers, need more attention than Villalobos and that is the sole reason why he was excluded from our top ten.

Well, that was it. No more posts from us this year, we will return as of February. Enjoy the crazy parties (Soulwaxmas!) that are coming up these days and do try to keep yourself in one piece.

vrijdag 14 december 2007

In a perfect world, scientists would place a chip in my head so that I would instantly receive Erol Alkan's favourite track of the moment without going through the trouble of downloading, buying or going to places where funky shit gets spinned to hear these amazing new tunes. Unfortunately, that isn't the case yet so we still have to plough our way through heaps of shit before actually encountering a real gem. Parties are these to easy our life a little though and luckily there's plenty of those this weekend.

Tomorrow, it's nü-rave time at Petrol in Antwerp because Punks Jump Up are coming over and you better hope they spin that "Disco Wreck" remix they did for Don Cash because it'll set the place on fire. Monica Electronica will be around as well.

Over at Mirano in Brussels, the Dirty Dancing concept shows it is still one of the dominant forces in clubbing because Carl Craig is coming to burn down the house. If you haven't yet seen this guy spin, you best head the fuck over there...

We have though, which is why we are dragging our ass to a paradise which we will refer to as the übertrendy Make-Up Club in Ghent. Innervisions chief Dixon (the deepest of respect for his Body Language compilation) is coming to Belgium again and he'll make your body move to those funky deep housey tunes of his. Residents Fredo & Thang (isn't that the coolest name you've ever heard?) and Stephen are joining in as well. Did we already mention that this is a free party?

It's one of those weekends again when you just can't make a bad choice. You can only regret that you can't see all of them because these are absolute killer line-ups.

zondag 9 december 2007

we'd like to know kung fu as well

Before Nü-ravers (some say new-rave but please indulge my fondness of the umlaut) Shitdisco hit it big, they hosted free parties in their drummer's flat in Glasgow. These so-called "61" parties would last an entire weekend. In 2005, their first single "Disco Blood/ I know Kung Fu" was released on Fierce Panda and the world outside of Glasgow was able to enjoy Shitdisco's intense sound. Their first album, Kingdom of Fear, was completely in the line of their debut single and a few weeks back, the 12" of "I Know Kung Fu" was released.

On the A-side, the original can be found along with an absolutely destructive remix by Belgian electrorockers Goose. This remix kind of reminds me of "Ravelight", the remix Soulwax made for Robbie Williams's "Lovelight".It also has this kind of slow (well, compared to what's coming...) building up followed by quite a lengthy run-up to a massive explosion. Also note the bleepy noises during the building up which resemble the ones in "Ravelight" very much. And by no means is this a bad thing, au contraire, this remix would cause mayhem on a dancefloor. On the B-side, there's a remix of "OK" by Radioclit and a remix of "Dream of Infinity" by Passions.

dinsdag 4 december 2007

Plutôt au dessus qu'en dessous

Het Duitse houselabel Dessous Recordings legt zijn ziel bloot op de nagelnieuwe dubbelaar Dessous' Best Kept Secrets. Het album is een greep uit het seizoen aan 12" en omvat daarenboven een resem exclusieve tracks, hun 'best kept secrets' die paradoxaal genoeg tot nu toe achter slot en grendel werden gehouden.

Bij Dessous zelf omschrijven ze hun sound graag als 'modern House music' en gepaard gaande met hun unieke 'touch' weten ze als geen ander muziek te creëren met maar een doel voor ogen: music that moves your body as well as your soul.
De klinkende namen op het album - uiteraard gewikt en gewogen door labelbaas Steve Bug - doen ons alvast niets anders geloven. Niemand minder dan Charles Webster, Efdemin, Tanzmann, Mr V., Will Saul, Morgan Geist, Anja Schneider en vanzelfsprekend Steve Bug himself hebben hun creativiteit kunnen botvieren op de originele tracks van onder meer Phonique en Alison Marks.

Maar waar het uiteindelijk allemaal om draait - en naar waar de titel Best Kept Secrets werkelijk verwijst - is de tweede CD. Vincenzo Ragone, de - naar eigen zeggen - 'Don of Deephouse, verwerkt naast zijn eigen tracks ook die van ander aanstormend geweld, zoals Simon Flower, Ryo Murakami, Steve Ferrand & Pete Sung tot een warm en soulvol geheel.
Dessous' Best Kept Secrets, bestemd voor zowel de dansvloer als voor 'en dessous de la couverture'.