2012/37 – In Memoriam Charles Babbage (english)

I spare the reader the rather pointless accumulation of possible reasons for today’s rich musical harvest, the point simply being: there’s a lot new music out there, and rejoice – some of it’s good.

Amongst the flood of today’s releases that caught my ear I’d like to start with the Face the Music EP of English trio Dexcell, whose opening track Timebomb takes on Wilkinson’s Moonwalker and sets the general direction, though it takes them till track three to actually unfold their full potential: Melodramatic strings add to a cinematic atmosphere as they give way to simple yet solid drums, shadowed by outer-space-bleeps while tickling out overtones of the deep bass on his journey, where no bass has gone before… The concluding item Decoy, obviously meant as such, represents a fine dubstep-track, brute yet rich in variety and flavored with pathos, and might eventually work conversion-wise. If you share some lunar affinity: check it out.

Dexcell – Face the Music EP (Mastermind Ltd) –http://soundcloud.com/dexcell07/sets/dexcell-face-the-music-ep/

There is also a new Andy Pain / Z Connection plus nScape EP that can be recommended bona fide. The a-side, Reptile, is fine neurofunkish tune by the acclaimed creator-duo of the Distinction EP, that don’t refrain from showing their rhythmical capabilities here. nScape’s Incursion is a matter of big waves mostly, not exactly thrilling but a tender massage to the underbelly.

Andy Pain & Z Connection – Reptile / nScape – Incursion (Anodyne Audio) –http://soundcloud.com/anodyne-audio/sets/anodyne002-andy-pain-z/

The third in the row of quick recommendations (before all the lavish adulations and laments claim the space) is the Interferenz EP of Moscow-based producer and graduate of the old German school of Neurofunk history, Thesys. Slightly reminding of not quite up-to-date Misanthrop-stuff, the title track is not bad though. The flipside, Lichtgeschwindigkeit (German for light speed), is actually an attempt on exactly that, and does achieve some weird yet fascinating and focused feel of flight. Try it yourself.

Thesys – Interferenz (T3K) – http://soundcloud.com/t3krecordings/t3k036-thesys-interferenz-clip

Thesys – Lichtgeschwindigkeit (T3K) – http://soundcloud.com/t3krecordings/t3k036-thesys

Anticipation is a hell of a thing, especially in drum & bass, where hell might be foregrounded excessively. For either a song is dead from overexposure through soundcloud and youtube and podcasts when finally released, or –even worse- is left to rot in some subfolder of some label’s desktop computer (as it is currently happening with Audio & Meth’s Alone / Grit – can someone remind Teebee?) and never released. But sometimes all goes well nevertheless, as has just occured with Maztek’s new EP that after months and months of waiting finally delivers his stroke of genius Galactica to the people. Hooray! And the waiting was well worth it (as were his anger management sessions), Galactica is so funky, if it wasn’t for the Roman signature sound one could claim a paternity test. However, the track is just an astonishing demonstration of Neurofunk 2012: Incredibly voluminous, stomping like an easy ogre and yet giocoso and detailed, with roaring basses, smacking hats and the occasional encouraging whiplash. The stroke of a genius.

The b-side, Odyssey, unfortunately can’t keep up at all with its lone dirty lamento-bass, feels unfinished and somehow empty. But frankly, in the overwhelming light of Galactica – who cares?

Maztek – Galactica / Odyssey (Renegade hardware) – http://soundcloud.com/renegade-hardware/sets/hware22-maztek/

It can be an asset of the quality of music to arouse questions. The questions however asked by the presumeably most prominent release of this week, Rockwell’s Childhood Memories, are of a more specific kind, like: What is that? The first aria to the opera of the future? An MDMA-confession? Simply an atmospheric picture? Or is it the proof that even someone like Rockwell can’t rival Amon Tobin? But let’s not be hasty, Childhood Memories does go its own way, and consequently. There is, notabene, quite a lot to cope with in this one, for instance a slight incipient emotional overdose, or Kito’s vocoderized vocals; the two ‘drops’ too wear off kind of fast in a dreamy synthesizer-pizzicato; yet there is something deep to this almost four minutes of music, a nostalgic maelstrom, and some understanding blazes, impalpable and ghostly, that there is something beautiful in its eminent delusion. But my personal favorite aspect of Childhood Memories is the EP-enclosed Neosignal-remix (skipping the Teeth and Metrik ones), that carefully strips the original from its poppy dress, sticks it into a smart Kraftwerk-uniform and then massages it with the casual Neosignal-basses, brand OMG!. And when Sam Frank’s distorted rudiments of a voice exclaim ‘Somebody help me – make me human again’, it becomes the basis of yet another majestic tale from Hamburg’s Düsterwald.

But everybody now in doubt of Rockwell’s status among electronic music’s greatest shamans of polyrhythm, may rest assured; the actual b-side Fluf is once again constant complex rhythmic sound. Upon bass magma (fluffy), the nimble puppet master erects a percussive jungle of sounds, whose distinctiveness, precision and drive are far beyond the relaxed tempo of only 130 BPM. Enourmously well structured and composed, with selected breaks and a delicate emotional spice to it, Fluf – is simply masterful.

Rockwell ft. Kito & Sam Frank – Childhood Memories (Shogun Audio) Official Video –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO3kZDOnelg

Rockwell – Childhood Memories (Neosignal Remix, Shogun Audio) –http://soundcloud.com/neosignal/rockwell-feat-kito-sam-frank

Rockwell – Fluf (Shogun Audio) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj21TgeFNVs&list=UUhK_wCJmjHXgGVvTJ5a9vfQ&index=1&feature=plcp

One of the –as I feel- more superficial changes, that occurred when making music moved into computers, was the shift of approach from feeling to control. Now there is obviously no way to completely sever one from the other, but feeling without control didn’t really seem to be a problem for a great many years. (I do at this point engage the reader to listen to any old Rolling Stones song to clear things up.) Yet there seems to be a grave difference between strucking a lute chord and the attempt to make a periodic electric waveform come alive (which definitely has more demiurge-factor to it), when both ways attain to eventually create music. But even if Skrillex were to crush a Mac after each and every of his sets, he would still never become Hendrix: time to arrange with the conditions. Meaning: Take the total control as the absolute possibility to go new ways to new feelings. – ‘What the…’, yes I feel the readers contempt; but I stumbled upon a masterpiece of that setting and didn’t want to sow it into dry soil. It’s the Stop Motion EP of Spanish producer, DJ and information fetishist Larrge (mind the orthographic implementation of the rolling rrr), an obvious EP of the Week (if there was this title). And it’s truly stop-motion in there, Larrge serves a fulminant four-course banquet of micro-biological Funk, and even Richard Wagner would have bowed to this endless melody. There is no need to foreground any track, since they all shine in equal brilliance, ripe with the complex emotion that only computer music and its control to the very core is apt to deliver (except for some of those indian tabla-guys, but they sound quite different). And therefore, we should at least thank Mr. Charles Babbage in our minds.

Rolling Stones – Get Off Of My Cloud  (Incidental) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgWUi-ozMAU

Larrge – Stop Motion EP (Icarus Audio) – http://soundcloud.com/larrge/sets/stop-motion-ep-icarus-audio/

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