GAISER: Blank Fade (M-nus Records)

David Abravanel on Nov 21st 2008 01:22 am

Gaiser: Blank Fade

Blank Fade
M-nus Records 2008
13 Tracks. 89mins15secs

2008 has been a landmark year for Minus, celebrating a ten year anniversary.  Started by Richie Hawtin as an outlet for his own projects, the label has come to embrace a small, focused clique of like-minded artists who plumb the dark (and sometimes sexy) depths of minimal techno.  Being honest, Gaiser’s productions have never grabbed me as much as label mates Heartthrob and False.  There’s a subtle, difficult difference between an expertly crafted minimal track, and a boring loop repeated for far too long.  Jon Gaiser (don’t the cool ones always have the neatest last names?) certainly had potential, and singles like Egress displayed a knack for funky rhythms, if not the most innovative of evolutionary track structures – a must for anything 4/4 and minimal.

Blank Fade sees Gaiser kicking it up a notch, and is one of the best full-length albums under the M-nus label, sitting comfortably alongside False’s techno speedway, 2007. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Boogybytes Vol. 4 (BPitch Control)

Robert Rowlands on Mar 13th 2008 11:52 pm

V/A: Boogybytes Vol. 4

Boogybytes Vol. 4 mixed by Ellen Allien
BPitch Control 2008
15 Tracks. 66mins00secs

After the success of her recent Fabric mix, Berlin DJ Ellen Allien here takes over the controls on the Boogybytes series to deliver a tightly scripted disquisition on the micro-techno scene. With most DJ sets, there is a need to balance coherence with variety, and the new with the pleasingly familiar. Here, though, Allien aims for a sound whose consistency of beat and texture varies in slight details from one track to the next. It is a bit like listening to the slow and delicate shifting of tectonic plates – with the calamitous possibility of the quake lingering somewhere in the distance.

Because of the clinical, almost surgical cleanliness of Allien’s style, calamity and event are rarely brought into the mix in any obvious way. Instead, melodies float beneath scattergrams of sonic pulses, allowing rhythm to dictate the album’s intricate soundwaves. The sound that results is effortlessly now – as BPitch, her label, proudly avers – a soundtrack of urban facades and cityscapes. Continue Reading »

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