themilkman on Jun 8th 2011 01:48 am

Ricardo Villalobos/Max Loderbauer: Re: ECM

EMC Records 2011
17 Tracks. 134mins27secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD

Convincing ECM mastermind Manfred Eicher of the validity of letting Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer, known primarily for their involvement with linear minimal techno, loose in the ECM catalogue, one of the most aesthetically consistent catalogues there is, was probably never going to be a given, but the pair got his support early on after he visited them in their Berlin studio as they were just beginning working on the project.

What the pair propose here are not so much remixes as entirely new contextualisations of sonic spaces. Each of the pieces presented is based on segments of a particular work lifted from the vast ECM catalogue, but Villalobos and Loderbauer essentially create new compositions out of the raw material at their disposition. 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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RICARDO VILLALOBOS: Fabric 36 (Fabric)

David Abravanel on Oct 23rd 2007 08:55 pm

Various Artists / Ricardo Villalobos: Fabric 36

Fabric 36
Fabric 2007
15 Tracks. 74mins13secs

It’s funny to see Ricardo Villalobos as a superstar DJ. Listening to one of Villalobos’s live sets (such as the half-hour live at Fabric mix that was released to radios in advance of this release), there are no bangers, no sudden beat drops, no satisfying moments where it all comes together. Villalobos’s music fits on the dance floor, but it can also soundtrack life’s more contemplative moments, and tends to reward the listener who can pay special attention to its subtle changes.

And, subtle change is the name of the game on Fabric 36. Instead of releasing a mix primarily of others people’s tracks, as every other DJ has done for the Fabric series, Villalobos mixed a set composed entirely of new, original material. Continue Reading »

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