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THE 2007 REVIEW: Joe Muggs

Joe Muggs on Dec 20th 2007 11:23 pm

Feature: The 2007 Review

In the year when Dubstep proved its staying power and went international, it still produced few artist albums: the mainstream of the sound still with its heart in the mixtape – but London’s Burial, Bristol’s Pinch and Nottingham’s Geiom produced absolutely brilliant spooky, soulful and brooding (respectively) takes on the sound. Further dub variations came with fizzing post-Basic Channel stuff from Germany (Disrupt) and Detroit (Echospace), while techno veteran Neil Landstrumm added the dubstep template to old-school rave on Restaurant Of Assassins.

The folktronic-indietronic-organic-electronic interface continued to be fertile, with Tunng, Muscovite producer Gultskra Artikler, Icelanders Múm, Canadian-in-London Caribou and Danes Efterklang further blurring the band/producer boundaries, while the brain-boggling Battles and Yeasayer produced a new strain of post-dance prog rock. Fennesz Sakamoto and Michaela Mélian produced some of the most beautiful pure ambient music of recent years, while the techno continuum showed its diversity with Cristian Vogel’s futurism, Supermayer’s good-natured fun, and Matthew Dear’s darkside pop. The Hot 8 Brass Band fused generations of funk to show that even near-destruction couldn’t still the heart of New Orleans, while The Black Dog’s terrifyingly rare early 90s rave-tronica tracks got a welcome re-issue.

Burial: Untrue1.

Hyperdub Continue Reading »

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GULTSKRA ARTIKLER: Kasha Iz Topora (Miasmah Recordings)

Joe Muggs on Nov 14th 2007 10:54 pm

Gultskra Artikler: Kasha iz topora

Kasha Iz Topora
Miasmah Recordings 2007
18 Tracks. 66mins48secs

Isn’t technology beautiful? Now that even the cheapest PCs are capable – in the right hands – of sophisticated sound manipulation, the way is open for ever more peculiar people to realize the sounds in their heads no matter how far outside normal musical frames of reference they might be. No longer does a Captain Beefheart need to capture, imprison and brainwash talented young musicians in order to create a Trout Mask Replica. Instead, people with a unique vision need only lock themselves away with a computer and tweak and twist and warp whatever sounds are around them until they have an album’s worth of the sounds that will allow others access to their soundworld. Burial – if the myth is to be believed – is one such visionary, sat in his room with the TV on and an old PC with a fan so knackered it smokes, editing sound without even recourse to a sequencer in pursuit of the perfect aural painting of the fears and joys of the South London night time; and Siberian-born, Moscow-dwelling Alexey Devyanin is without doubt another. Continue Reading »

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NOMADIC: Trek 19 (Touchin’ Bass)

Joe Muggs on Oct 25th 2007 10:19 pm

Trek 19

Trek 19
Touchin’ Bass 2007
10 Tracks. 57mins01secs

DJ/producer Andrea Parker’s label usually specialises in a kind of very psychedelic and very high-tech sounding underground electro, so at first listen this extremely rough’n’ready album seems like something of a diversion for them. However, although the crunch and buzz of the individual sounds on Trek 19 are superficially punkier and more violent than Touchin’ Bass’s usual fare (indeed frequently it recalls some of The Aphex Twin’s earliest, rawest Rephlex 12″ excursion into piledriving noise under Caustic Window and other such names), a couple of listens through and it becomes very clear that the heart and soul of this album is electro – funky, body-popping, head-spinning, robo-funk electro indebted to Kraftwerk and the Soul Sonic Force – just as much as any previous releases on the label are. Continue Reading »

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