Category Archives: Zomby

Best of 2011, part III: Get fit with 20jfg

Whether your with Dunbar on music and dance evolving as mass social grooming, Darwin and his strutting peacock, or feel dancing and music is tickling the brain in ways nature cannot, dancing is a part of our humanity and has been for a very long time. 2011 was a good time for music you could dance too…

 

Lindstrøm : De Javu When you play a Lindstrom track in your dj set its always difficult to follow. It’s normally difficult to know what to play it after too becuase, lets face it, no one else makes records that sound like this. The new album Six Cups Of Rebel is out on Small Town Supersound in February.

Lindstrøm – De Javu

Buy : De Javu

 

James Fox: New Jack Swing James Fox laces pristine mid-tempo dance with some silky new jack swing vibes, projecting us inside an utopia of white and honey which is to mainstream house music what romance is to porn.

We are believers in the possibility of a non-fucked up after-hours club where the tribes congregate to squeeze the last ounce of physical sweetness of the ephemeral night, rather than gurn their way into infinity. If that place exists, this is its theme tune.

James Fox – New Jack Swing

Buy: New Jack Swing

 


SebastiAn: Love In Motion Feat. Mayer Hawthrone
  More Stones Throw related goodness by way of the loudest Banger on Ed’s roster pitching Patrick Cowley’s Lift Off Down to an unmistakably Purple Oneesqu slowed clap groove.

SebastiAn – Love In Motion Feat. Mayer Hawthrone

Buy : Love in motion

 

Machinedrum: Come1  Riding last year’s bubbling up of Juke and snapping it into a piano-house ghost-ballad workout.  With an opening the hits right in the feet and then proceeds to gently let up over the next six minutes Come1 is the reverse of most dancefloor equations.  Drawing you in with it’s hedonistic intensity from the off then taking you on a tour of its sorrow.

The whole album’s a near effortless reminder of how good dance albums can be.  building upon a Footwerk foundation to deliver everything from a dancefloor Boards of Canada (Now U Know Tha Deal 4 Real) to one of the most cathartically maudlin pieces of music this year in Lay Me Down (which has the audacity to not actually be the last track on the album).

Machinedrum – Come1

Buy: Room(s)

 

Graphics: Adjectival E Well Rounded are quickly and efficiently becoming a treasure of the Brighton Vs. Hove demilitarised zone.  Graphics is the second release on offshoot, Well Rounded Individuals and is a towering example of Fractured British Dance Music.  A sliced vocal looped and buried under fabric-thin waves of synth washes haunts the intricate drum programming and sweeping siren-calls that interleave and enchant.  Which is not to say it’s adverse to a break and a surging refrain, that’d be silly.

Graphics – ‘Adjectival E’

Buy: Adjectival E / OK Rainbow

 

Den Haan: Gods From Outer Space Bandying “macho disco” around like leather, sweat, and guitar riffs were about to go out of fashion Gods From Outer Space is probably more fun that you can actually ever have in a club, but with this as your soundtrack it would be impossible not to try.

Den Haan – Gods From Outer Space

Buy: Gods From Outer Space

 

D/R/U/G/S: Connected Connected doesn’t waste much time bringing its snippets of Techno and House to bear on the floor.  Far too much has been written about ghostly reconfigurations of former genre glories and the pillars that this stands upon are amply described by the track itself in the opening minute and a half.  Exercising aCraig-ian approach to the build, the drop finally arrives and the euphoria is suitably unleashed.  Not ones to paddle in the pool of anti-intellectual hedonism, 20JFG are satiated by the wiring machine ballet that seems to underpin the ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE HANDS IN THE AIR PIANO HOUSE that forms the back end of the track.

D_R_U_G_S – CONNECTED

Buy: Connected

 

Magic Touch: I can Feel the Heat  Imagine a unicorn leaping out of an original pre-hipster/Urban Outfitters post-everything appropriation 1980s t-shirt, into a rainbow pond of everything that’s awesome about disco music, and out again into the garden of eternal delights that lies beyond, where it dries itself with an almighty shake, droplets of joy splattering all over in a kaleidoscopic rain which is photographed with minimum exposure, the ensuing images (or their emotional equivalent) are then pressed on vinyl for the whole world to dance to.

Magic Touch – I can Feel the Heat

Buy: I can Feel the Heat

 

Ital: Ital’s Theme Ital soundtracks the muscular leaving party for a space marine squadron. A glimpse out of battered portholes onto the uniquely specular beauty of crystalline asteroids, for a moment…before the pounding of the room draws their attention back to the dancefloor with a heaving, looping ecstatic roll of wave after wave of 23rd century Italo instrumentals.

Ital – One Hit

Buy: Ital’s theme

 

Death in Vegas: Trans-Love Energies Richard Fearless returned with a 7+ minute track referencing the soundtrack to New York’s The Loft and the UK Acid House scene featuring the considerable vocal talents of Katie Stelmanis of Austra, and we couldn’t stop playing it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a 30min extended remix. The rest of the album wasn’t bad either.

Death in Vegas – Your Loft My Acid

Buy : Trans-love Energies

 

Austra : Beat and the Pulse EP This Domino records early 2011 release of haunted industrial folk has, deservedly, has stayed with us all year.

Austra – Beat And The Pulse (Extended Version)

Buy : Beat and The Pulse

 

Hans Tanza: An Audience with Hans Tanza Nutjob consultant extraordinaire Hans Tanza convenes a board meetingto discuss the quarterly impacts of psy-trance flotations on the  futures market of electro-acoustic academia circa 1976

Hans Tanza – The Insight Generator

Buy: An Audience with Hans Tanza

 

Mi Ami: Dolphins EP Mi Ami’s vessel plunges through a forest of cyclopean futurist hulks, its distorting, tape-bent beats pounding off the walls.  High above Gavin Russom watches from a former car insurance office (now sans walls) and smiles to himself in the knowledge that there are others.  Glancing upwards for a moment he catches the forms of Derrick May and Carl Craig huddling around a fire, lit on an equally exposed floor of an old financial institution. Down below the vessel nears the source of the sound as light cascades from the rising sun.  Hundreds of people throb around a fire giving thanks to those who came before, those who provided us with such riches.  A badly painted cloth hangs from an old piece of corporate art and reads: ‘Things should be made anew before they are destroyed again.’

Mi Ami – Sunrise

Buy: Dolphins

 

Virgo: Resurrection (reissue) To call this life-changing is no exaggeration. Imagine the most intimate moment of ‘It’s You’ by ESP’ time stretched across a 3 hour movie about Jamie Principle floating on the ethereal plane and perhaps you’re getting there.

Virgo Four – The Mop

Buy: Ressurrection

 

Daphni: JIAOLONG001 While we found Caribou’s recent album to be not as up our street as the previous few we did very much enjoy the Daphni remix project which re-visited the gratuitous psychedelic elements we loved about Caribou’s sound.

Cos-Ber-Zam – Ne Noya (Daphni Mix)

Buy : JIAOLONG001

 

Wheez-ie: All Werked Up EP Texan Juke desperado Wheez-ie’s  veers between hardcore footwork punishment and futuristic heartbreak – ‘Leave her Alone’ hovers above the battlefield like the X-Men’s Storm, convening from the summer skies a purple hurricane of emotion at whose eye spins a silver music box delicate ballerina.

Wheez-ie – Leave Her Alone

Buy: All Werked Up

 

Xander Harris: I want more than Just Blood/Urban Gothic If you like your drum programming hand built from the Dopplereffekt textbook of absolute rigidity,  and your synth lines played straight from the pained claws of The Phantom of Paradise, then Xander Harris is the pick for you.

Xander Harris – I Want More Than Blood (High Heels Remix)

Buy: Urban Gothic/I want more than Just Blood (sold out)

 

Innergaze: Shadow Disco Innergaze take us in a strut through a parallel land where mirrors, glitter and dances are the holy sacraments of a mainstream religion whose father  is Liquid Liquid (on a dubby bender), the son is Daniel Wang and the holy spirit Arthur Russell. On its journey it collects a thousand scuzz tropes and redistributes them across a skeletal groove so lazy, it makes E.S.G sound like a clinical minimal techno project devised by the appointed keepers of metronomic purity. Spectral hedonism, that’s our new calling.

Innergaze – Shadow Disco

Buy: Shadow Disco.

 

Factory Floor: Various 12’’ Factory Floor strip dance music down to its bare components, and configure them with the grim nonchalance of a murder squad retained by the black ops soviet. Synth loops blast like machine language glyphs straight off Nitzer Ebb’s and Front 242 body music usage dictionary.  The motorik beats read like input-output flows in a 5 year programme of industrial production that measures results in terms of sweat. The shards of distortion are cruelly designed to produce collateral damage, demoralization and mass surrender.

Factory Floor – Lying (Chris Carter Remix)

And then there’s this…

 

Buy: Blast First 12; Two Different Ways.

 

Zomby: Dedication Zomby  buries us in a frozen dead ocean, where we float surrounded by a constellation of discrete music molecules floating in stasis. They recall the past (massively compressed Jarre, blocks of primary colour which are the slices of a Jan Hammer gradient) but aren’t it. Rather, evolved echoes, nano-designed DNA blueprints for a future fauna of Cupertino Panthers and fractal wing dragonflies.

Zomby – Mozaik

Buy: Dedication

 

Lumpen Nobleman: Grusha Lumpen Nobleman’s (no link, alas) is all about the deepness, the abyssal and the sub-dermal, ochre drones awesome like the ornate dome of a defiled Orthodox monastery breaking through the mist, grim commandoes in ghillie suits pulling their best Snake moves up the snowy hill, an inhuman metronome ticks away at the heart of the ruins, counting down the time left for the start of the paranormal firefight.

Lumpen Nobleman – Scaling the Yablonois

Buy: Grusha..

 

FWY: Ventura EP We continue our love affair with Edmund Xavier and his FWY’s trucker techno-gamelan escapades. Watch out for the title track’s superb melancholy drone, like Cormac McCarthy’s existential cowboy gazing into a neuromantic dead-channel sky, a moment before stepping past the borderline.

FWY – Ventura FWY

 

The Passenger: \_| The Passenger’s \_|  combines Armando’s optimistic bass rumbling, Orbital’s playful chimes, Wendy Carlos binary fairy-telling and the sort of acid riffs that Plastikman would have come up with if he had been commissioned to update Maurice Sendak’s bibliography, in collaboration with Paper Rad.

The Passenger – Entitled One

Buy: \_|

 

Pye Corner Audio: Black Mill Tapes Vol.2. The first post witch house record? Made by someone who probably never heard of witch house? Slow techno and radiophonic electronic passed through a hauntology filter to create one hell of an immersive experience. Why this isn’t on everyone’s albums of the year list is mystifying.

Pye Corner Audio – Electronic Rhythm Number Seven

Buy : Black Mill Tapes Vol.2.

 

And here’s Rick with the weather

Featuring : Moon Gangs + Zomby

(Image by Natsuo Noma via the infallible 50 Watts)

Thank you Cindy, nice tiara by the way, really loving the mystic look!

It seems that the Summer doesn’t want to get started yet. Heavy winds and some rain in Brighton – not great if you want to picnic in the beach, but a total blast if you are one of the hawksmen who live on top of Sussex Heights. We hear the jokers have spent the whole afternoon swirling above the centre of town and dive-bombing the shopping crowds. All in good fun though, take that Von Richtoffen!

Further up in the thermosphere, we are registering a strong cosmic ray count, any astronauts listening are advised to bring out the lead suits and switch the life systems to manual – sprouting extra limbs may sound like a sensible long-term evolutionary strategy, but we doubt your loved ones would appreciate the new look when you get down from there. Scouts of the Cassiopeian fleet, this doesn’t apply to you guys, your insectoid bodies can take these puny effusions and more.

Clairvoyants at the John F. Dee Station tell us that there has been a flood of negative manna in the Rosicrucian section of the astral plane. There is poor visibility and transit is cut in many psychic pathways. Pure White Tendency folks planning a weekend trip over there may want to take their purifying charms with them, unless you don’t care much for becoming minions of the evil one. Happy times for dark sorcerers though, the current conditions are great for all sorts of corruptive spelling, get the same effect for half the virgins! Enjoy it while it lasts you heartless bastards!

And that’s it for today! But before we go, a word from our sponsors. We have all suffered from those turbulences in the blasphemous hurricane at the centre of infinity where Azathoth gnaws, surrounded by a flopping horde of amorphous pipers. AstroZeneca ‘Sane ‘n’ SoundTM’ pills guarantee you a good night sleep devoid of lurking horrors no matter how strong those disturbing effusions from beyond space and time get. Remember folks, ‘Sane ‘n’ Sound, taking the Ooze out of the Snooze’!

Western governments continue investing mega-bucks on antennas and telescopes through which to capture snippets of that conversation where the universe speaks to itself, from the micro whisper of subatomic particles spinning their quantum dance to the macro symphonies of mass gravitational collapse.

The best scientific minds of our generation have not yet devised the tools through which to visualise the beauty of this system, just reams of data, cryptic charts and disappointing Computer Generated Imaginary. We are still groping in the dark.

Moon Gangs cut to the chase and plug a whole array of synthetic apparatus into the output devices of our planetary sensory system, thus generating a song, the latest episode in an invisible collection of factual documentaries through which generation after generation of stargazing weirdoes (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Terry Riley, Ligeti, Lindström, OPN, etc.) have attempted to reveal a truth that can’t be spoken.

I can’t say for sure that they are getting any closer, but the sights along the way are truly something.

Moon Gangs – Sea

Get the debut cassette from WhereToNow.

(Visitation by Simen Johan)

Zomby’sDedication’ will be topping end of the year charts like it should.  But.

Thinking. So. Far. Ahead. Is.

Hard. Because.

Ok. Rewind. Stay. With. The.

Now.

Here, buried in a frozen and dead ocean. Surrounded by a constellation of discrete music molecules floating in stasis, they recall the past (massively compressed Jarre, blocks of primary colour which are the slices of a Jan Hammer gradient) but aren’t it.

Rather, evolved echoes, nano-designed DNA blueprints for a future fauna, Cupertino Panthers sleek and brutal like Bradbury’s mechanical hounds, dragonflies with fractal wings and a telepathic drone.

For now they await dormant, dreaming of the abstract hunt that lay ahead.

Zomby – Mozaik

(it does end like that)

As a bonus, here you have Adriana Alba’s ace video for Harald Grosskopf’s Emphasis. Why does it rule so much? Perhaps because it summarises visually the grief at the heart of German 1970s electronic music (particularly Kraftwerk, who could be the grandparents of some of the actors therein featured): Man turns machine (or a cog in the machine), and the machines sing a ballad for his loss.

20JFG Best of 2008: Daze

What links and binds all the music that’s dazzled and dazed us and forced us like an unseen entity to fall to our knees in wide eyed rapture like wailers in a temple, is that no matter how abstract and dizzying so much of this stuff appears to be on the surface of things, ultimately in one shape or another what all of it highlights so clearly is the pure and honest power of good, well made pop music that will always bring out in us the eternally awkward teenager forever fantasizing of a parallel universe edition of Top Of The Pops where the heroes we speak of on these pages are given free reign to do their thing and cause the girls to scream and the boys to dream.

One of this years highlights for us was being given the opportunity to work with so many great people on our Devil’s Trident video/remix project with Telepathe and it’s definitely been no secret that this year we’ve hearted those girls in an intense, some might say unhealthy way. We would say in response that it’s healthy to have a name or two carved into your arm from time to time- shows you have the all important capacity to love. Anyway we’re pretty confident everyone is going to rightfully flip their shit when they get to hear the spectral Cash Money haunted avant-pop that they’ve created for their forthcoming debut record Dance Mother.

Telepathe – Devil’s Trident (Rory Phillips Remix)

The Ghost Box label made us thankful for their existence with more phantasmagorical transmissions of an eerie half remembered childhood spent watching giant stones with eyes close in on helpless victims and truly terrifying public information films about cloaked figures that lurk near lakes to watch the misguided and the stupid breathe their last breath as they disappear beneath the dark water. The Advisory Circle created a paean to the suburban séance on an album of cold, decaying electronic collage and Belbury Poly hinted at an even more expansive cosmic horror sound for next years From An Ancient Star.

Kelley Polar armed with some of this years most spellbinding melodies and often evoking pitch perfectly the aching bliss-pop romanticism of The Stars We Are era Marc Almond and the avant disco leanings of Arthur Russell created a modern masterpiece of sorts, that veered from being blissfully absurd to insanely intelligent and in other moments eye wateringly beautiful, and sometimes all in the same song (A Dream In Three Parts (On Themes By Enesco.)) Similarly galloping across the Cosmos on pink ponies in disco ball armour Morgan Geist got around to releasing an album of majestically sad eyed love songs heartbroken and haunted by restless Italo apparitions that managed to be as great as everyone expected it to be, and Nite Jewel made us fall in love with her pastel shaded computer balladry that gave us the woozy feeling that we were dancing half asleep, half awake in the Lyncian discotheque of our dreams as visions of a decadent 1980s Milan that may have never existed unfolded before us.

Nite Jewel – Lover

Without resorting to quoting Edward Said and becoming overly preachy the concept of “world music” has always been a retarded and unarguably flawed one and in 2008 a number of artists did an amazing job at proving just why this is. Of course some, but definitely not all, did this with more panache than Paul Simon and resisted the easy temptation to spew forth his particular brand of see-thru, self satisfied Benetton soul to sound like the genuine real deal. Gang Gang Dance, who took the flame in their hands from well travelled sonic adventurers The Pop Group and ran with it to become the potential architects of this new sound returned in a kaleidoscopic shitstorm of Sublime Frequencies polyrhythm’s, obtuse techno and shamanic vocalisms, amazingly and quite unexpectedly whipping grime star Tinchy Stryder up into the mix with them, to create their best album to date. On a similar journey traversing Paper Rad deserts with post punk squall were Rainbow Arabia and Nomo gathered in a circle and pounded away on anything they could get their hands on in an evocation of Anansie inspired astral funk, hands deep in the dirt, eyes fixed at the stars. The Big Pink partied like it was the mid ’80s and they were signed to Creation Records – think not of Oasis but of Jesus & Mary Chain at their strung out and aimlessly noisy best. San Franciscans Mi Ami created a transcendental racket of broken bone psychedelia whilst their soul sister and purveyor of fine forestry funk 51717 was responsible for one of the more audacious covers to emerge in the last twelve months totally gutting out a silky disco soul classic by Barbara Mason to sound like pagan lo-fi.

Meanwhile listening to El Guincho was the sonic equivalent of watching a star explode, the glorious noise that’s made when a man’s brain spills out underneath the pressure of trying to capture and compute everything beautiful about sound into a few minutes of perfect pop music, making the Brian Wilson party record of the year in the process. His equally impressive  band, Coconot alongside art punks Abe Vigoda for once actually justified a term often made up by bored hacks and made angular guitar music that was positively bathed in tropic mists, the latter’s “Dead City/Waste Wilderness” tune becoming something of an anthem to flail limbs too without a shred of abandon in these parts this year.

High Places continued to soothe our battered psyches with the rattling hypnotics of their animalistic folk pop, Gyratory Systems astounded us with some ridiculously innovative synthetic gamelan that left us soul searching for right words that we have yet to find, Late Of The Pier splattered in a grisly neon mess came on strong and brought the fun like The Knife’s kid brother’s frenetic prog rock band and Teengirl Fantasy made the kind of cyborg dub that compelled us to sweat. A lot. Same for Ben Butler & Mousepad, who will be rocking our world with his further excursions into the 8-bit psychedelic polyhedron. And after a lengthy period away from things returning this year in a far quieter, but no less impressive fashion was Leila who blew us away with an album of creeping lullabies drowned in a queasy, disorientating ambience that aside from being brilliantly mesmeric, also heralded the welcome return of unsung hero Luca Santucci.

As usual a handful of R&B and pop artists rubbed dirt in the festering wounds of indie elitists still adamant of the necessity that music should always have a white boy with a guitar attached for it to be deemed inventive or credible, the fools. In 2008 though it was mostly the songs that for whatever reason you might not have heard that flew the flag for the Kiss F.M. avant gardists, and most of it sounded like the kind of amazing futuristic machine funk Prince would often have bestowed upon the world in the 80s with any one of his robo-divas.  Ciara lost her breath over rave synth click tracks with Windowlicker breakdowns and spazzy Knight Rider samples, but truly lost her mind in spectacular fashion when she decided to go operatic over the bone crunching tech-crunk of High Price. Meanwhile Cassie continued to create great frost bitten electro soul and simultaneously sound like the little girl ghost in the machine, her angel whip voice buried most evocatively in the chilly, groaning cybernetic atmospherics of My HouseBritney Spears, after having slithering in 2007 over one of the blackest of black, hole in the heart sex jams to ever so effectively put action into the erotically charged words “the smell of doom” (the wise musings of the Purple One’s malevolent alter ego Camille no less), re-emerged last month with another impressively odd club banger called Mannequin, a sonic juggernaut of wonky disembodied whines, thunderous bass and mind-boggling stream of conscious lyrics. Wynter Gordon made this years Umbrella and no one noticed, The Dream made a bunch of potentially drunk skanks called Electrik Red sound positively poisonous, Danja kept pumping out incredible space-hopper beats, and Ryan Leslie took an icy toned replicant for a delirious ride on his digitised chrome carousel.  No disclaimer necessary.

The bug-eyed talking in tongues weirdness of A Milli was everywhere and for good reason, because it was amazing no matter how many times you heard it (as was Beyonce’s wired retooling) Ignoring the wave of electro inspired naffness that followed on from the tsunami that was Wearing My Rolex, grime and dubstep continued to mutate and produce some arresting sounds. Y.D.O.T. channelled the obtuse electronics of Autechre to make some intensely exciting stuff that reminded these ears of the first time I Luv U and Pulse X made pirate radio sound like alien transmissions. Meanwhile Trim rode an awesome stuttering snake charmer rhythm that crawled under the skin like a bug, while Rustie, Joker and Ikonika plainly ignored all this New Rave rubbish and did it their own way.

Zomby shuffled into off-kilter consciousnesses with a flutter of 12″s before flooring all with “Where Were U In ’92?”, a mash-up of house piano, drum & bass skiffling beats and euphoric vocal cut-ups, with rave sirens covering up the selotaped seams. The LP felt so authentic it was like a lost cassette tape you found in a shoebox of teenage crap that you’d recorded off of pirate radio in that fateful year of the title. The Zomby EP leaned more on the psych-dubstep of the first few 12″s, with sliced up Prince shards projected onto phosphorous 8-bit backdrops, Crystal Castles melted down and microscopically viewed through a kaleidoscope.

Zomby – Aquafresh